Pledge to tackle antisocial behaviour

ANTISOCIAL Behaviour Orders (ASBO) are ineffective and do not put victims first, according to an Oriol High School governor and the Conservative candidate for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner.

The court orders, which were introduced under the Labour Government, don’t work because they are too complicated and often impossible to enforce, Katy Bourne argued.

Cllr Bourne, who represents Cuckfield with Mid Sussex District Council, made the comments in the run-up to the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections, due to be held on October 31.

The new role will give the commissioners responsibility to set budgets and hold chief constables to account, with Police Authorities set to be abolished.

Mrs Bourne said: “I am a Governor at Oriel School in Crawley and am familiar with the issues surrounding anti-social behaviour in the area. As Police & Crime Commissioner for Sussex I will put the victim first. The new powers that the Conservative-led Government are proposing are more flexible and crucially, contain support to change behaviour and help prevent re-offending, which ASBOs do not.”

However Labour’s PCC candidate said the government’s plans would weaken the fight against antisocial behaviour.

Godfrey Daniel, a magistrate and Hastings and East Sussex councillor, pledged to give victims a response within 24 hours if elected as PCC.

Mr Daniel said: “This Government is weakening action on antisocial behaviour, scrapping ASBOs for weaker measures and making people wait longer for a response. People in Crawley know that’s not good enough.

“I will work with our Chief Constable to ensure victims get a swift response. People should get a response within 24 hours.”

He said victims would have to make three separate complaints about ASB before getting a response under government plans.

But Mrs Bourne added that more than half of all ASBOs are breached and that proposals would make the system more simple and flexible.

Though candidates are allowed to campaign for election on a political platform the winner must swear on oath of impartiality to all residents of Sussex.

Former Policing Minister and South Downs MP Nick Herbert, who presided over police cuts and the introduction of PCCs, resigned from government on Tuesday (September 4).