The government’s champion for Active Safer Communities has proposed radical changes in an effort to tackle anti-social behaviour.
In her report, ‘Our Vision for Safe and Active Communities’, Baroness Newlove calls for a change of culture so neighbourhoods no longer see crime, anti-social behaviour and disorder as ‘someone else’s problem’, and for services to go beyond simply asking communities what their problems are and to see them as equal partners in resolving those issues.
Newlove recommends introducing community rewards when information leads to a conviction, improving on crime maps so that people can use them to report crime and agencies can publish details of action against offenders, and changing the ‘9 to 5’ culture of local agencies so they are available when people need them most.
She also proposed providing council tax rebates, or vouchers for local businesses that take part in community activities to reduce anti-social behaviour.
The report was welcomed by the Association of Convenience Stores. “Baroness Newlove has come up with some practical ideas to take forward the fight against anti-social behaviour,” said chief executive James Lowman. “Local shops are often the victims of these problems, so innovative solutions will be welcomed by neighbourhood retailers throughout the country."
Lowman added that retailers have the opportunity to lead the fight against anti-social behaviour. “It is the day-to-day abuse, vandalism and intimidation that retailers find most depressing and damaging,” he added. “Retailers can be key figures in the fight against anti-social behaviour, rather than seeing themselves as victims of it.”