30 Mar 2023

CIH response to the Anti-social Behaviour Action Plan

On 27 March, the government published the Anti-social Behaviour (ASB) Action Plan setting 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 plan is described by the government as a 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.

Main principles of ASB action plan – address safety, security and respect for others.

  • Immediate justice – reparation within 48 hours on things like graffiti. Community to be involved in setting what consequences/ punishment should be
  • Crackdown on illegal drugs – extending the range of drugs police can test for, and the ban on laughing gas
  • Encourage orderly behaviour – strengthen powers for PRS and SRS to evict/ sanction. Looking to increase use of mediation in PRS through new Ombudsman.

James Prestwich, director of policy and external affairs at Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) commented on the action plan saying:

“We welcome the Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Action Plan’s acknowledgement that ASB can have a significant and negative impact on communities. Making the process to act against ASB quicker and simpler is an important step forward but it must be used in conjunction with support to help people address negative behaviour.

“The proposals to expand sanctions such as evictions and deprioritising applicants for social housing must be coupled with more consistent funding for, and development of, appropriate tenancy sustainment and support for people to address and change the root causes of ASB.

“We are mindful that there are implications of the ASB plan which must be viewed carefully to safeguard all involved, as antisocial behaviour can be misidentified especially in situations where domestic abuse is present. When behaviour is misidentified as ASB critical opportunities are overlooked to provide safety, options, and support. The plan must reflect this.

“We are concerned that the plan indicates people living on the streets could be subject to police action if they ask for money, food or shelter. This risks criminalising and punishing the poorest in our society. We await further details on this.”

Further information on the government's Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan can be found in this CIH member-exclusive what you need to know guide.