Calls for 24-hour nuisance response

Youths on the street
Youths on the street
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PLANS to challenge the way anti-social behaviour is tackled are being proposed by the Labour party.

Under Conservative proposals, a resident would have to wait until five complaints were made about problems causing uproar in their neighbourhood.

However, Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, has called for any problem neighbours to be dealt with in 24 hours.

She said: “Action on anti-social behaviour is being downgraded. Tory plans mean no guaranteed police or council response until five different people have complained.

“That’s crazy. Harassed pensioners shouldn’t have to wait for their neighbours to contact police too.”

But John Raine, chairman of the Mereside Tenants and Residents Association, says both plans need more development.

Mr Raine, who also serves on the Safer Communities Panel, which tackles anti social behaviour, said: “I don’t think the Conservative’s plan is short enough – I think it should be three complaints.

“If someone makes five complaints, that is a month or two months they have had to put up with that, a long period of time before it’s dealt with.

“If they are planning on changing it to 24 hours that is OK, but what if it is a one-off and someone is having a party? I would expect them to give a warning, but if it goes on for three months the stress levels for the complainant will be huge – I’ve been through it myself.”

Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, said there had to be a balancing act when dealing with problems.

He added: “Anti-social behaviour blights everyone’s lives, and no-one is in favour of it, but Labour’s efforts to blame the police for not trying hard enough simply won’t wash.

“Even around here, where the constabulary has put more beat officers on duty, what really makes a difference is fighting hard, as I have done, to retain public desks in Bispham and Cleveleys where everyone knows they will get a response.

“ASBOs became little more than a ‘badge of honour’ in many cases under Labour, and certainly don’t enjoy public confidence.

“Labour clearly didn’t learn the lessons of what works when they were in power –it isn’t all about targets.”