New powers to tackle antisocial behaviour

From today (Monday 20 October) police and other agencies have new options for tackling antisocial behaviour. 

The Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides new tools for dealing with people who behave antisocially. Dispersal Orders give police the authority to direct individuals away from an area for 48 hours and Closure Powers allow police, council and social landlords to shut down premises if necessary.

The overall number of police powers to deal with antisocial behaviour is being reduced from 19 to six in order to simplify the process and tackle incidents quickly. 

South Yorkshire Police lead for antisocial behaviour, Superintendent Colin McFarlane, said: “The new streamlined powers make it easier to deal with antisocial behaviour and helps us work with partner agencies to ensure that there is a joined up response for victims.

"The powers to enforce Dispersal Orders, or close premises that are responsible for an increase in antisocial behaviour, will begin to be used now in the run up to Hallowe'en and Bonfire Night."

In addition to the new powers, a 'Community Trigger' gives members of the public the power to ask agencies, such as the police and councils, to review how they have responded to incidents of antisocial behaviour.

The Community Trigger was introduced across South Yorkshire from 1 September this year in anticipation for the new act coming into force today.

Superintendent McFarlane said: “The Community Trigger is a great step forward in giving the public the tools to hold the police and other agencies to account. It will provide vital feedback from the public about how we tackle incidents of antisocial behaviour and ensure that our approach leads to a positive outcome for those affected.”

The Community Trigger does not replace the complaints process, but allows individuals to raise concerns if they are dissatisfied with how the police have handled a report of antisocial behaviour.

Any member of the public can raise a Community Trigger if they have reported three or more separate incidents relating to the same or similar issue of antisocial behaviour within the last six months.

A Community Trigger can be raised by contacting South Yorkshire Police on 101, completing a form or by visiting a public enquiry desk. Click here for more details.

For further information, click here to watch Superintendent Colin McFarlane explain what the changes mean for South Yorkshire Police.