Vera Baird DBE KC

Writer, Lecturer, Parliamentary Consultant and Co-Director of Astraea: Gender Justice

PRESS RELEASE: Commissioner demands Government takes urgent action.

Commissioner demands Government takes urgent action

New Government powers to tackle anti-social behaviour must be supported with extra funding, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has said.

The Government has introduced five new powers which have come in to effect today, which the Government believe will enable the police, local authorities and others to respond quickly and effectively to anti-social behaviour (ASB) as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB), Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Northumbria Police has worked closely with partners to ensure the smooth implementation of the powers and the Commissioner’s office has consulted on the community remedy list with the public in Northumbria who clearly favour the following two options:

Educational or rehabilitative activities                                           20% of respondents

Unpaid work within the community                                                  21% of respondents

For these options to be effective, they need funding. The Government cannot rely on the police and Local Authorities to pick up this cost.

Since 2010, the Northumbria Police budget has been cut by nearly £70m and local authorities have faced similar pressures. Local authority ASB leads have said they are concerned about the cost implications brought by Community Remedy with no additional funding provided for the options to provide structured activities or activities which put something back into the community.

The Commissioner Vera Baird said: \”Like everything this Government does, changes are rushed through and no extra funding provided to ensure the transition is successful.

\”Most of the remedies need resources to ensure their success and the Government should be funding this initiative as it’s important local residents and police officers have confidence in the system they’re working with.\”

The Commissioner has called on the Justice Secretary to convene an urgent meeting with colleagues in Parliament to secure the extra funding needed to pay for this initiative.

\”Northumbria Police continue to tackle ASB head-on – but if the Government wants this new scheme to work, they need to fund it,\” Mrs Baird added.