Atšķirībā no Latvijas, Apvienotajā Karalistē par ASU runā tieši, bez aplinkiem, nemeklē atrunas datu aizsardzības regulās, bet gan piesaka karu tam. Saskaņā ar Apvienotajā Karalistes Iekšlietu ministrijas datiem reģistrētais incidentu skaits martā vien palielinājās par aptuveni 75%. Tā ir tikai viena no Covid-19 "slēptām kaitēm"; izolācijas un palielināta stresa sekas ir palielinājušas sabiedrības spriedzi un izraisījušas lielāku konfliktu starp indivīdiem. Šis fons ir arī palielinājis iespēju neaizsargātām personām (diemžēl, Latvijā šai kategorijai ir pieskaitāmi arī skolotāji) kļūt par vieglu mērķi ASU elementiem, jo juridiski radītā sistēma veido noteiktu sociālo distancēšanos, kas liek viņiem ciest klusumā.
Thursday, June 3rd 2021
Daryl Edmunds, Neighbourhoods and Criminal Justice Manager at Richmond and Wandsworth Councils
Rebecca Brown, CEO of ASB Help
Janine Green, Specialist & Consultant in Community Safety and Anti-Social Behaviour
Levels of anti-social behaviour (ASB) in the UK surged during 2020, particularly in the months following the first national lockdown. According to the Home Office, the recorded number of incidents increased by approximately 75% in the wake of the March lockdown. This is just one of the ‘hidden harms’ of Covid-19; the effects of isolation and increased stress have magnified community tensions and provoked greater conflict between individuals. This backdrop has also increased the potential for vulnerable individuals to become easy targets for perpetrators of ASB, as social distancing pressures them to suffer in silence.
This area is governed by the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, which introduced the Community Trigger, enabling victims to request a review of their case where no effective action has been taken to resolve it. This mechanism is critical, enabling community stakeholders to share expertise and actively resolve the situation, and providing perpetrators with access to support in order to prevent re-occurrence. However, analysis has revealed that overall agency compliance with the legislation is problematic. A survey of the 40 Police and Crime Commissioner websites carried out by ASB Help showed that only 15 even mention the community trigger, and, even then, a great deal of information is incorrect. ASB Help have proposed that the government establish ‘Nightingale Taskforces’ in areas where ASB has risen sharply, in order to quantify the problem and counter the deficiencies and lack of consistency in ASB management at a county level.
Some reports have dismissed the suggestion that successive lockdowns have increased the levels of recorded ASB, instead attributing the increase solely to complaints of lockdown regulations being breached. However, even when these incidents are removed, the NPCC’s analysis showed that levels of anti-social behaviour remained 12% higher than in 2019. It is clear that ASB is on the rise and it appears that victims are being left to fend for themselves. In August, the charity Victim Support saw a 161% increase in ‘hits’ about ASB on their website, however, when it comes to tangible support, some local authorities and registered providers (RPs) are struggling to find the resources to cope.
Many have suggested that the impact of such incidents on victims has been widely, and routinely, underestimated. ASB, at any time, has the potential to cause victims misery and stress, however lockdown conditions have heightened the intensity of these effects. The Victims’ Commissioner has called for a greater voice to be given to victims of ASB, citing instances in which those who have endured persistent ASB have taken their own life. This has led to pressure on the government to honour their longstanding promise to enact a Victims’ Law, giving victims of crime enforceable rights with regard to their treatment by police and courts.
This symposium is, therefore, an invaluable opportunity to draw attention to an arguably neglected issue. The UK continues to be plagued by cases of anti-social behaviour, and a coordinated response is necessary if we are to protect victims and prevent further corrosion of our communities.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the current legislative framework for dealing with ASB (ASBCPA 2014) and discuss opportunities for reform
- Assess the use of the Community Trigger and identify methods to ensure it is accessible for victims and utilised in practice
- Examine how local authorities and registered providers (RPs) can prevent ASB and protect victims in their areas
- Explore opportunities to enhance the legal rights of victims of ASB, particularly through the proposed Victims’ Law
- Analyse the role of the police and PCCs in dealing with ASB and how the response can be improved
- Assess the effectiveness of local responses to reports of ASB, and develop strategies for a more co-ordinated multi-agency response
- Raise awareness of the seriousness of ASB and its potentially devastating impacts upon victims, and identify methods to debunk the myth that it is a ‘low-level crime’
- Explore successful educational programs raising awareness of ASB within housing areas
- Evaluate the impact of Covid-19 on levels of ASB in communities and discuss opportunities for targeted responses to increased tensions and isolated victims
- Reflect on the need to gather more data on instances of ASB and create a plan for the future
Please feel free to circulate this information on to any relevant colleagues.
Public Policy Exchange
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