Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Anti-Yob Powers Widened

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Anti-Yob Powers Widened

Article excerpt

Byline: By Liz Hands

New powers are to be given to police, parish councils and civil courts across the North-East under a Government crackdown on anti-social behaviour, the Home Office announced yesterday.

Five local authority areas in the region were named as target spots under the Together action plan, which aims to cut down on problems like intimidation, nuisance neighbours, vandalism, graffiti and rubbish dumping.

Announcing 50 new action areas nationwide, Home Secretary David Blunkett, said the campaign would improve the quality of life for law-abiding people.

But community leaders last night said the scheme did not go far enough.

It comes a year after Sunderland was named as one of 10 pilot areas for the project ( which has now been spread into Newcastle, Gateshead, Easington, South Tyneside and Middlesbrough.

Speaking at the Together: Tackling anti-social behaviour conference in London yesterday, Mr Blunkett, said: "A year ago, I said to communities that I wanted them to use the powers we have given them to tackle anti-social behaviour. Since then, a tremendous amount has been done to reclaim our communities for the law-abiding majority.

"But there is no room for complacency. We know that too many communities are still blighted by anti-social behaviour, with the yobbish behaviour of a few thugs ruining the quality of life of whole communities."

Figures released yesterday showed police had taken action against an estimated 100,000 cases of anti-social behaviour nationwide, giving out more than 2,600 anti-social behaviour orders.

In the North-East, there were 292 cases of anti-social behaviour tackled in Sunderland, including 20 ASBOs, 272 cases and 10 ASBOs in Newcastle, 260 cases and 18 ASBOs in South Tyneside, 538 cases and nine ASBOs in Gateshead and 300 cases and five ASBOs in Easington. …

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