Community Trigger: Empowering victims of antisocial behaviour (19-9-14)

On 20 October, the “Community Trigger” – one of a range of new powers to help agencies including Cambridge City Council tackle antisocial behaviour (ASB) – comes into force across the UK.

Victims of ASB will be able to use the “Community Trigger” to request action, starting with a review of their case where they feel that either no action, or inadequate action has taken place to tackle the reported problems.

Agencies including councils, the police, clinical commissioning groups and providers of social housing will have a duty to undertake a case review when someone requests one and the case meets a local threshold. For Cambridge, this is likely to be three complaints of ASB having been made within a six month period, although the persistence, the harm caused, or potential for harm to be caused, and the adequacy of the response to the ASB will also be considered.

It can be used by victims of ASB, of any age, or someone acting on their behalf, such as a friend, family member, carer or councillor. The victim can be an individual, a business or a community group. The applicant either completes an online form on the Cambridge City Council website or requests a hard copy application form.

Cllr. Lewis Herbert, Leader of the Council and Executive Councillor for Strategy and Transformation, said: “We are achieving real year on year reductions in antisocial behaviour in Cambridge thanks to the effectiveness of the city’s dedicated police, and great work by staff at the council and partner organisations.

“However, we know that antisocial behaviour by a tiny minority of residents still causes disproportionate suffering to victims locally, so we are implementing the new Community Trigger power as early as we can after it becomes law in October. We want to see increased rights for the victims of crime, including to get their ASB cases reviewed and the overall response improved where this is needed.”

Inspector Jason Wragg of Cambridgeshire Constabulary, said: “We welcome this new legislation, as a means to empower communities and tie local policing to relevant, current concerns.”

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