Under new plans announced in recent weeks, perpetrators of anti-social behaviour will see swifter and more visible justice. A total of 16 areas across England and Wales will receive funding to take further action.
A new ‘Immediate Justice’ scheme will be trialled in Sussex to deliver such swift and visible punishments.
I am grateful to the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, for her hard work on this plan. The Commissioner has already started assembling project teams to consider some of the types of programmes which can be delivered with Sussex Police as well as local authorities and partners.
As part of the new Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, offenders will be made to wear high-vis vests or jumpsuits to pick up litter, remove graffiti and wash police cars. The ambition will be for them to start work as soon as 48 hours after their offence.
Those who are victim to anti-social behaviour will also have a say in the punishment of offenders to ensure that justice is visible and fits the crime.
Stronger punishments will be given to those who graffiti, litter or fly tip: with increased fines of up to £500 and £1,000.
Shortly before Easter, a record-breaking attestation saw 107 new Sussex Police recruits sworn in, pledging to serve in their roles as Police Constables and Detective Constables with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality.
Sussex Police have now reached both the Government’s uplift and the Commissioner’s local recruitment target.
Our local force will have 3,096 officers for the coming year: more than when Katy Bourne was elected to office over a decade ago.
The Government have also confirmed that Nitrous oxide or ‘laughing gas’ will be banned. This will send the message to gangs hanging around high streets and parks, leaving empty canisters behind, that they will not get away with this behaviour.
Earlier this year we saw Conservative Crawley Borough Councillors taking a pro-active lead on this issue. Cllr Duncan Crow (Furnace Green) and Cllr Brenda Burgess (Three Bridges) put forward a motion calling on Government to ban these canisters.
This motion was passed by councillors, with Crawley believed to be the first council to pass such a motion. Now, we are seeing Government acting on this on a local and national level.
Through efforts to tackle the crime that hurts our communities, 90,000 weapons have been taken off our streets from 2019 to 2022. Over the same time, more than 49,000 violent offences have been prevented and 260,000 vulnerable young people have been supported through ‘Grip’ hotspot policing and Violence Reduction Units.
There remains more to do to protect the law-abiding majority and this is what I will continue to support in Parliament.
Henry Smith MP