Working together

October 28, 2004 ,

THE Prime Minister came to a meeting of MPs this week to tell us that Cardiff would be one of 50 new Anti Social Behaviour Action Areas.

The Home Office will be providing a grant to help the community to use new powers to tackle anti social behaviour.

It’s part of the “Together” campaign which makes it easier for the police, council and local people to deal with vandalism, nuisance neighbours and other problems.

For too long these were ignored rather than tackled head on.

Where these problems are not tackled, more serious crime develops.

It’s far better to nip it in the bud.

Now gangs can be dispersed and anti social behaviour orders imposed on those who make other peoples’ lives a misery.

Cardiff’s new action area status brings extra training on how to use these measures.

It is important that anti social behaviour is tackled with a team approach, hence “Together”.

The police need to be geared up and prepared to use the powers.

The council must to be committed and Magistrates need to enforce ASBOs where they are breached.

Then people will start having more confidence and be prepared to come forward to help, knowing that the system won’t let them down.

In other parts of the country this approach has helped local people to claim back the streets and not feel imprisoned in their own homes.

When I first became a councillor in 1991 I raised the issue of anti social behaviour by some council tenants.

I was told at that time, by a council officer, that we could not interfere with people’s lifestyles.

That attitude had to change to make it clear that the authorities stand up for the majority of decent hard working families.

That’s why this week’s announcement is good news for Cardiff.