Entry: "East End action to tackle anti-social behaviour"

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Bethnal Green and Bow MP Oona King led a debate on anti-social behaviour in Parliament on Thursday. The debate was called at Oona’s request following the meeting she arranged at Westminster with the Home Secretary and 150 Tower Hamlets’ residents. Speaking from her Constituency Office before the debate Oona said:

“Anti-social behaviour blights the lives of so many people. I’m determined to do as much as I can to stamp it out. There is some excellent work going on in the Borough – some of the best in the country – but we also have some of the worst problems”.

Oona gave the Commons some harrowing accounts of problems in Tower Hamlets. These included drug addicts taking over communal areas and gang violence on local streets.

Oona highlighted Government measures in place, but called for further action. As well as wanting a tough line on enforcement, Oona also called for positive measures to engage young people.

“There is never any excuse for anti-social behaviour. But we need to be intelligent about tackling the problem – we have to tackle it at its source, not just clear up the mess afterwards. The police, the Council, and local schools, are working much more closely”.

Oona drew attention to the Council’s action plan to reduce anti-social behaviour. This includes the development of a new street warden scheme, more visible CCTV, and helping young people into employment. The Council also plans to restrict spray paint sales to under 18’s to combat graffiti and to do more to stop fly tipping and dog fouling. Parents will also be encouraged to take greater responsibility for their children’s behaviour. This is in line with Government legislation.

“I am pleased the Government’s Anit-Social Behaviour Bill brings in powers to close down crack houses and crack down on truancy. It also widens the use of Fixed Penalty Notices to tackle noise nuisance, truancy and graffiti, restrict the use of air weapons, and to shut down establishments that create an unacceptable noise nuisance. In a nutshell, it seeks to punish the vandals and bullies that make people’s lives a misery. I was very disappointed that the Liberal Democrats voted against the Third Reading of the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill. But the Government is determined to get these measures through.”