GRAHAM ALLEN MP COLUMN: We need to stop bad behaviour

Graham Allen MP for Nottingham North
Graham Allen MP for Nottingham North

Anti-Social behaviour has been an issue for my constituents in Nottingham North, and the surrounding areas for years.

As a result, Nottingham is one of the leading areas in the country for tackling anti-social behaviour. This is in part down to our nationally renowned Early Intervention Programme, where our biggest area of spending has been getting Community Protection Officers (CPOs) out onto the beat.

Nottingham’s ‘Community Protection’ service has provided an additional 100 Community Protection Officers, funded by the City Council, that form part of its Neighbourhood Policing offer.

They provide a range of enforcement services and are a visible presence in our communities. Within its partnership with Nottinghamshire Police it also provides specialist enforcement officers to support victims and witnesses of anti social behaviour and work with Police Officers to determine how best and what tools to use in order to tackle local issues.

The Anti-Social Behaviour Bill that is currently going through Parliament has proposed ‘directional’ powers for a Police Officer or PCSO to direct an offender or potential offender, who may be causing a nuisance, away from an area for up to 48 hours. While it isn’t a permanent solution, it will give those affected immediate respite from whatever the nuisance was.

I’d like to see these proposed “direction” powers extended to our excellent community safety officers. We need to ensure we do not limit enforcement just to the police, but also to our CSOs who are often the ones dealing with anti-social behaviour first-hand.

To tackle anti-social behaviour in Hucknall, Bulwell, and all the areas in Nottingham North, we need to utilise our already effective officers. I’ve written to the Home Secretary Theresa May and asked her to extend these powers before this bill becomes law. I’ve also invited her to come and meet with our excellent CPOs in Nottingham so that she understands how big a role they play in keeping our community safe.