Strong families are the building blocks of strong communities and key to tackling anti-social behaviour, Home Office Minister Beverley Hughes said today.
The Government is spearheading a radical agenda to tackle anti-social behaviour. Ms Hughes today emphasised the vital role that families play in providing positive role models and teaching respect and responsibility.
Speaking at a New Local Government Network conference she reiterated the Government’s commitment to supporting families and to enforcing solutions when help is refused.
Ms Hughes said:
“We are willing to offer lots of support to families who are in trouble or who have unruly children. Parenting Contracts, parenting classes and intensive fostering are practical measures which will help people who feel they can no longer cope with their child’s offending behaviour.
“The problem of anti-social behaviour won’t be solved by one Government department or one community. We need a partnership between individuals, families neighbourhoods, police, councils and Government if we are to tackle this. But working together we can build better, safer communities which are more desirable places to live.
“Too many communities are blighted by anti-social behaviour. And when young people are behaving anti-socially, it is vital for their own futures that we stop them from continuing. Anti-social behaviour is often the slippery slope to crime.
“So the Government is committed to tackling this scourge. We recently published our radical and wide ranging white paper and are bringing forward legislation and other measures.
“We have already delivered record numbers of police officers to our streets, backed by Community Support Officers. The Anti-Social Behaviour Bill will now hand local authorities more power to tackle the nuisance issues which have a huge effect on people’s quality of life. Practical measures to tackle this problem include extended use of fixed penalty notices, more powers for environmental health officers to tackle noisy neighbours, demoted tenancies for unruly tenants and a range of measures to ensure families take responsibility for the behaviour of their children and young people.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The Anti-Social Behaviour Bill was introduced to Parliament on 27 March 2003.
- Ms Hughes was speaking at a New Local Government Network conference called Developing Locally-Led Responses to Anti-Social Behaviour at Church House, London.
- The New Local Government Network is an independent think-tank, seeking to transform public services, revitalise local political leadership and empower local communities. For further details, visit www.nlgn.org.uk