Welcome to Redditch MP Karen Lumley’s new column where every fortnight you get to ask her the questions you want answers to. Questions can be asked on any subject and submitted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, writing to Standard Questions, Redditch Standard, Webb House, Church Green East, Redditch, B98 8BP or tweet @karenlumleymp #standardquestions
Why can’t your government spend some money on dealing with some of the frightening individuals we see around the town centre rather than on killing people in Iraq and Syria?
Alan Stephens, Lodge Park
The Government has a clear, long-term plan to fight crime and stop those who cause trouble on our streets. It has cut red tape and given police just one simple target: cut crime. These reforms are working and crime has fallen nationally by more than ten per cent since 2010. We are also seeing crime falling dramatically in our own region.
I do agree we must deal with those who frighten others on our streets. Everyone has the right to feel safe in their own homes and neighbourhoods. Yet thousands of people around the country are still having their everyday lives blighted by anti-social behaviour. I believe action is also being taken on this.
The new Injunction to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance and the Criminal Behaviour Orders are designed not only to provide effective respite for victims and communities, but also to stop future anti-social behaviour. Additionally, the new powers in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act will give the police the ability to disperse individuals or groups behaving anti-socially in public places. Police officers will be able to require a person to leave an area and not return for up to 48 hours.
The Act will also ensure you, your family and other members of the public, have the right to an appropriate and proportionate response to each reported incident. The community trigger will give victims the power to compel local agencies to review their response to repeated instances of antisocial behaviour, while the community remedy will give victims a powerful voice in determining the appropriate punishment. These measures will ensure victims of anti-social behaviour are taken seriously by the authorities, and they have more of a say in how anti-social behaviour is dealt with locally.