Day 8 – Safer Travel Police on Birmingham buses – West Midlands Police, a photo by West Midlands Police on Flickr.
The government have published their anti-social behaviour white paper. It has one or two things that will be of interest to us, particularly in the context of some of the programme work we’re thinking about.
They say that half of violent crime is alcohol related and that a quarter of the public think people being drunk or rowdy in public places is a very or fairly big problem in their local area.
Illicit drug use is also part of the picture, and the government point to the £10m that is spent on the Positive Futures programme that provides diversionary activities for young people. (My understanding was that this programme comes to an end this year, but I may be wrong.)
The strategy sets out proposals to change the ASBO system that was introduced by the last government to what they call a Crime Prevention Injunction. They list the benefits as being:
The civil standard of proof requires proof ‘on the balance of probabilities’ rather than ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ which will make injunctions quicker to get. This means that problem behaviour can be addressed more quickly.
Police officers and other professionals can give evidence on behalf of the community, which protects vulnerable witnesses.
The new injunction contains support to change behaviour rather than just stopping the person from doing something. This should help reduce re-offending.
Sanctions for breach are civil not criminal, which prevents people getting a criminal record unnecessarily.