Drinking at bus stops and war memorials to be banned in anti social behaviour crackdown
Drinking alcohol at bus stops and war memorials is to be banned in a new crackdown on anti-social behaviour.
New rules, to be unveiled by Rishi Sunak, will see more on-the-spot fines issued and drug tests carried out in an effort to see offences rapidly and publicly punished.
The rules will also include punishments for graffiti and litter, as well as for leaving chewing gum and cigarettes on the streets. Those caught breaking the rules will be made to clean up the streets within 48 hours instead of going to court.
Tougher sanctions will also be handed out to those who fly-tip and proposals are being considered to dock benefits over school truancy.
A cash injection will be rolled out to fund police patrols in areas where gangs congregate and leave nitrous oxide canisters, such as children’s playgrounds, under the new plans.
The prime minister has previously vowed to crack down on disorder, and will provide police with new powers because he sees disruptive behaviour as a “gateway to more extreme crimes”.
In a wide-ranging speech setting out his vision for the country in 2023, the Prime Minister said in January he wanted to provide fresh powers to police forces, mayors and local authorities to ensure “these crimes will be quickly and visibly punished”.
Mr Sunak said his government would focus on reducing crime and anti-social behaviour to make communities better and safer places to live.
The prime minister vowed to continue with Boris Johnson’s “levelling up” vision.
But he warned that “all the regeneration in the world won’t mean anything unless people feel safe in their communities”.
Mr Sunak also said 20,000 police would have been hired by the spring – a promise made in the 2019 Tory manifesto. But the pledge comes following 13 years of cuts to frontline policing.
In February, Labour leader Keir Starmer said neighbourhood police would patrol town centres with new powers to act against repeat antisocial behaviour offenders if Labour wins power.
Labour pledged to introduce “respect orders” which would create a new criminal offence for repeat adult antisocial behaviour offenders, and police and courts would be able to take rapid enforcement action under the plans.
Recorded instances of criminal damage to shops, schools, leisure centres and businesses have increased by more than 30 per cent over the past year, Labour analysis found.