On 27 March 2023, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak launched an Action Plan to tackle anti-social behaviour. The Action Plan establishes a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of anti-social behaviour, and gives the police and local authorities the tools they need to tackle the problem.
Under the plan, 16 areas in England and Wales will be funded to support either new ‘hotspot’ police and enforcement patrols in areas with the highest rates of anti-social behaviour, or trial a new ‘Immediate Justice’ scheme to deliver swift and visible punishments. A select few areas will trial both interventions, and following these initial trailblazers, both schemes will be rolled out across England and Wales from 2024.
Under the new Immediate Justice scheme, those found committing anti-social behaviour will be made to repair the damage they inflicted on victims and communities, with an ambition for them to start work as soon as 48 hours after their offence so victims know anti-social behaviour is treated seriously and with urgency.
Offenders, who will be made to wear high-vis vests or jumpsuits and work under supervision, could be made to pick up litter, remove graffiti and wash police cars as punishment for their actions, and victims of anti-social behaviour from the local community will be given a say in offenders’ punishments to ensure justice is visible and fits the crime.
Hotspot trailblazer areas will see an increase in police presence alongside other uniformed authority figures, such as wardens, in problem areas for anti-social behaviour, including public transport, high streets or parks. The increased presence will help deter anti-social behaviour, step up enforcement action against offenders, make sure crimes are punished more quickly and drive deterrence efforts, helping to stop anti-social behaviour spiralling into more serious criminality.