The government’s consultations around the ASB Action plan

On 27th March 2023, the Government launched the ‘Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan’ which focuses on making communities safer and sets out the Government response to tackling antisocial behaviour vigorously. This consultation forms part of the ‘Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan’. In addressing community safety partnerships (CSPs), this consultation forms part one of the CSP review, which was announced in 2022 following the conclusion of part two of the police and crime commissioner (PCC) review. Both CSPs and PCCs have a role to play in tackling antisocial behaviour. CSPs are responsible for developing and implementing strategies to prevent crime and disorder, and they work closely with local police forces. PCCs have the power to hold police forces to account and can set priorities for policing, including addressing antisocial behaviour. This plan aims to address and reduce instances of ASB, which is defined as any behaviour that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm, or distress to others.

It is worth noting that concerns have been raised about the use of antisocial behaviour powers, such as dispersal orders and ‘Public Spaces Protection Orders’ (PSPOs), and the potential for these powers to be used unfairly or to criminalise certain behaviours. Any expansion of powers may need to be balanced with the protection of civil liberties and the avoidance of discrimination.

The consultation is seeking feedback from a wide range of stakeholders. These include individuals who have experienced ASB, community groups, and local authorities. The Government is particularly interested in hearing from those who have experienced ASB in rural or coastal areas, as well as from groups that are often affected by ASB, such as young people and the elderly.

The ASB Action Plan 2023 outlines several key areas for action, including improving the reporting and response mechanisms for ASB, increasing community involvement in tackling ASB, and ensuring that the police and other agencies have the necessary powers and resources to effectively tackle ASB.

One proposed measure is the introduction of a new national ASB helpline, which would provide a central point of contact for individuals to report ASB incidents and receive support and advice. The Government is also considering the introduction of new measures to tackle online ASB, which has become an increasingly important issue in recent years.

In addition, the Government is exploring ways to better involve communities in tackling ASB. This includes providing funding for community-led initiatives, that would work to raise awareness of ASB and encourage local action to address it. MSB previously provided an overview of the strengthening of powers in both private and social and housing to evict or sanction tenants who persistently cause antisocial behaviour to their neighbours. This article can be found here.

The consultation on the ASB Action Plan 2023 is an important opportunity for individuals, groups, and registered social landlords to have their say on how the Government can best tackle ASB. The consultation is targeted to those with experience working in or with CSPs, as well as those with interest in antisocial behaviour powers.

The consultation will run for 8 weeks, after which the Government will consider the responses received and publish the final ASB Action Plan 2023. It is hoped that this plan will provide a comprehensive and effective approach to tackling ASB, helping to create safer and more friendly communities across the UK. The deadline to respond to the consultation is the 22nd May 2023.

Ways to Respond



In Writing: CSP Review Team, Home Office, Crime Strategy and Performance Unit, 5th Floor, Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF.

Written by Raihan Arif.

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