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Government announce Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan Published Date: 28/03/2023

The Anti-social Behaviour Action Plan sets out the government’s approach to stamping out anti-social behaviour and restoring the right of people to feel safe in, and proud of, their local area.

The Government said "The plan is an ambitious and wide-reaching new approach that will give Police and Crime Commissioners, local authorities, and other agencies the tools to tackle the blight of anti-social behaviour facing communities across England and Wales."

Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Prime Minister, said:

"This government is clear that acts of anti-social behaviour are unacceptable. Our Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan is not just words, but a plan to stamp out anti-social behaviour."

Specifically, the action plan "will":

1. Make sure anti-social behaviour is treated with the urgency it deserves, increasing the use of hotspot policing and enforcement, rolling out a new Immediate Justice service so anti-social behaviour perpetrators can swiftly clean up their own mess, and giving communities more of a say over, and more visibility of, reparation:

  • Dedicated funding will support Police and Crime Commissioners, working with councils and others, to target enforcement in the areas where anti-social behaviour is most prevalent in their communities. Initially, we will support 10 trailblazer areas, scaling up to hotspot enforcement across all forces in England and Wales in 2024.
  • Perpetrators of anti-social behaviour will be made to repair the damage they inflicted on victims and communities, with the ambition of reparative work starting within 48 hours of them being given a disposal by the police. Perpetrators will clean up graffiti and pick litter and wash police cars while wearing jumpsuits or high-vis vests, and under supervision – with communities given a say over the consequences they face through direct consultation.
  • A new digital tool will be launched so members of the public can have a simple and clear route to report anti-social behaviour, receive updates on the outcome of their case, find guidance, and challenge where they do not think this is satisfactory.

2. Change laws and systems to take a zero-tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour, cracking down on the illegal drugs that blight communities and organised and harmful begging:

  • We will ban nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, to put an end to intimidating groups of young people littering local parks with empty cannisters.
  • The police will be able to drug test suspected criminals in police custody for a wider range of drugs, like ecstasy and methamphetamine, and test offenders linked to crimes like violence against women and girls, serious violence, and anti-social behaviour.
  • New laws to replace the Vagrancy Act which will give the police and local authorities new tools to address begging where it causes nuisance to others, such as begging at cash points or approaching cars at traffic lights.
  • Landlords and law-abiding tenants will benefit from stronger laws and systems to ensure those who are persistently disruptive are evicted. We will seek to halve the delay between a private landlord serving notice for anti-social behaviour and eviction and broaden the disruptive and harmful activities that can lead to eviction. We will also provide a clear expectation previous anti-social behaviour offenders are deprioritised for social housing.

3. Give the police and other agencies the tools they need to discourage blight, including higher on-the-spot fines for anti-social behaviour, investment in positive activities for young people, filling empty shops and regenerating local parks.

  • The upper limits of on-the-spot fines will be increased to £1,000 for fly-tipping and £500 for litter and graffiti, and we want more of these fines handed out to offenders.
  • One million extra hours of youth support will be made available in anti-social behaviour hotspots and we will invest more to intervene early with at risk young people via 1-1 support.
  • Councils will have stronger means to revitalise communities, bringing more empty shops on high streets back into use, and restoring and renovating local parks.