Victims of anti-social behaviour given stronger voice
October 22nd, 2014
From Monday (October 20), victims will be given a say in how offenders of anti-social behaviour (ASB) and certain ‘low level’ crimes are dealt with.
Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has today published a list of actions for dealing with certain offences that the public, community representatives, local authorities, Community Safety Partnerships, and most importantly victims, wanted to see as part of a ‘Community Remedy’.
Respondents to Sir Graham’s consultation earlier this year called for there to be a strong link between the Community Remedy actions and the crime and behaviour of the offender. The actions respondents thought would be appropriate for the offender, and which have now been agreed by the Commissioner and Chief Constable, are:
- Apology both written and verbal
- Remedial work for the victim and the community
- Financial recompense
- Alternative partnership remedies such as mediation or Neighbourhood Resolution Panels where these are available
- Any other reasonable action agreed by all parties
These can be used by officers responding to incidents of ASB and certain crimes such as low value theft, malicious communications or littering. Community Remedy can only be used in certain circumstances where the offence is not serious, it’s the offender’s first offence, or one of the few very minor offences and, mostly importantly, the victims agrees.
Sir Graham said: “I would like to thank those who took the time to give their detailed views. I was particularly pleased that there was overwhelming support for victims. Another strong message was that offenders must realise the consequence of their actions on both victims and communities.
“Victims and the public need to have confidence that Community Remedy is an effective way to deal with offenders outside of a court process. Equally important is that the Community Remedy enables offenders to recognise the impact of their actions and change their behaviour. We hope that this may actually help to reduce re-offending.”
Sir Graham will monitor the impact and outcomes of the Community Remedy next year in conjunction with the Chief Constable and then decide if any further actions need to be included.
Victims of anti-social behaviour and low level crime will also find tailored support through the Constabulary’s newly launched Victims’ Hub. The service provided by the Hub will enable the needs of victims to be assessed and then co-ordinate the delivery of the right service across a range of agencies to enable victims to cope and recover from the impact of crime.
Further information about Community Remedy, including the response to the Commissioner’s consultation, is available on the Commissioner’s website http://www.cambridgeshire-pcc.gov.uk/restorative-justice/community-remedy/
Notes for editors
Community Remedy is part of a raft of changes introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 which comes into force today, October 20, designed to put victims at the heart of a multi-agency response to ASB.
Another measure introduced by the Act is the introduction of a ‘Community Trigger’ which gives individuals, businesses and community groups the ability to demand action from agencies, starting with a review of their case where a locally defined threshold is met.
Further information about the changes in ASB legislation can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/352562/ASB_Guidance_v8_July2014_final__2_.pdf
Further information on the Community Trigger can be found on the Cambridgeshire Constabulary website http://www.cambs-police.co.uk/victims/under ‘ASB case reviews’.