Labour to pledge crackdown on anti-social behaviour

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Anti-social offenders would be forced to clear up litter and vandalism as part of “clean-up squads”, under new Labour proposals.

Labour’s shadow justice secretary Steve Reed will use a speech on Friday to condemn the “scourge” of anti-social behaviour, warning that offenders need to face “consequences”.

The party is promising “clean-up squads” to tackle fly-tipping, which would see offenders tasked with clearing up dumped litter while also being hit with fixed penalty cleaning notices.

Labour, Mr Reed will tell an audience in London, will also increase and toughen up the use of community sentences to tackle reoffending rates and “give a voice” to victims and local communities.

The party has pointed to Home Office figures revealing 1.1 million incidents of anti-social behaviour last year, as it promised that its plans would effectively “prevent crime, punish criminals and protect communities”.

Labour Party Conference 2021
Labour’s shadow justice secretary Steve Reed will outline the proposals in a speech on Friday (Gareth Fuller/PA)

“Anti-social behaviour can leave communities feeling broken and powerless. It leads to a spiral of social and economic decline that a Labour government will not tolerate,” he is expected to say.

“As justice secretary, I will strengthen community sentences to tackle anti-social behaviour and petty crime. Under this government their use has fallen by a half because courts no longer have confidence sentences will ever be carried out.

“Labour will address that by giving victims and community leaders a prominent role in the oversight of the system.”

The party is proposing community and victim payback boards, which it says will ensure community sentences are carried out and unpaid work suits the need of the local area.

Announcing the tougher penalties for fly-tippers, Mr Reed will say: “Those who cause the mess will clean up the mess.”

It comes as the party seeks to re-deploy Tony Blair’s famous promise that Labour would be “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”, a phrase the former Labour leader used to great effect ahead of the 1997 election victory.

The phrase was also used by shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper in a speech on Thursday, telling an audience in London that “it was right then, it is right now, it is what we did then, it is what we will do again”.

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