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Cumbria police watchdog chief raises doubts over plans to ditch Asbos

The head of Cumbria’s police watchdog has questioned whether new plans to tackle antisocial behaviour will just be a “repackaging” of current tactics.

Ray Cole photo
Ray Cole

Ray Cole also pointed to the record held by the force in the county, where this type of trouble dropped by a fifth last year.

Mr Cole, chairman of Cumbria Police Authority, was speaking after Home Secretary Theresa May announced an overhaul of the way antisocial behaviour is dealt with.

This includes cutting the number of different orders dealing with the problem and bringing in a “community trigger”, forcing police, councils and other agencies to act after several complaints.

Police in Cumbria last year introduced new methods of dealing with antisocial behaviour.

Reports of antisocial behaviour – a term covering problems such as rowdy behaviour, nuisance neighbours, litter or drinking in the street – fell from 32,938 in 2010/11 to 26,058 in the year up to April.

Mr Cole said: “We have a really good track record on how we deal with antisocial behaviour.

“We do treat it extremely seriously and we seem to have a good system that works in this county. Early intervention is the best way to reassure people.”

On the plans, he added: “My concern is: Is it just to get headlines? Is it a bit of the same but wrapped differently? Are we repackaging it in a different way?

“Any incident of antisocial behaviour is extremely distressing for the people involved but I’m happy with the way that we deal with it. We are very proactive with this. We try to stop it straight away.”

The Government wants to bring in new measures including moves to allow agencies to protect victims at short notice and faster processes to evict antisocial tenants and deal with irresponsible dog owners. The antisocial behaviour order, known as the Asbo, and six other orders relating to the behaviour of people will be replaced by two orders.

Mrs May said: “We will make powers simpler, quicker, easier to enforce, more flexible and more effective.”

Have your say

Manny is right, the police put up with an awful lot. For many of us who are polite, and live in nice areas we never have to encounter the 'Jeremy Kyle' set. For some police officers that is all they do deal with.

Seriously, if you watch Jeremy Kyle not only will you get a feeling for the kind of people they deal with (fat, ignorant, stupid, bad teeth and busy impregnating each other) and the same problems.

They keep the revolting workshy underclasses away from us all. They deserve all the respect in the world.

I bet some police officers wish that Facebook had never been invented (they know what i mean).

Posted by TB on 27 May 2012 at 22:17

Slag of the Police not comment on the actual article. Oh people of Cumbria would fill thier pants if they were to deal with what some officers deal with. Mouth olls without fact

Posted by Manny on 27 May 2012 at 11:18

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