Robert Halfon MP backs PM’s plan for major crackdown on antisocial behaviour in Harlow

Crime / Tue 28th Mar 2023 at 05:34am

THE Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has today announced an action plan for a major crackdown on antisocial behaviour in Harlow, promising to ‘stamp it out once and for all’. 

Harlow will be used as a trailblazer area, one of ten in the country, meaning the new measures announced today will come into force without delay and will ensure antisocial behaviour is ‘treated with the urgency it deserves’. The action plan includes:

  • Increased police presence on the streets to help tackle anti-social behaviour in problem areas such as the town centre, cycle tracks, and public transport. 
  • Introduction of a new Immediate Justice Scheme so those found guilty of committing anti-social behaviour will be made to repair the damage as soon as 48 hours after committing the offence so victims know antisocial behaviour is treated seriously and with urgency.
  • Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” canisters, which have plagued the Harlow landscape, will be banned, sending a clear message to intimidating gangs who hang around car parks and children’s parks and litter them with empty canisters, that they will not get away with this behaviour
  • Police will also be given new powers to crackdown on illegal drug use.
  • A new online one-stop shop reporting tool where people can quickly and easily report incidents of anti-social behaviour. 
  • Increased fines of up to £500 and £1,000 for those who graffiti, litter or fly tip.
  • The Council and Housing Associations will have more powers to evict unruly tenants who ruin their neighbours’ lives through persistent noise or by being drunk and disorderly.
  • Harlow Council will have new powers to quickly take control and sell off empty buildings to restore pride in the town centre and our neighbourhood centres.

These measures come on top of the Government’s recruitment of 30 new police officers for Harlow and a town centre policing team to crack down on street drinking and disorder in the town centre. Essex Police, which serves Harlow, now has more police officers than ever before.

Harlow’s MP, Robert Halfon, said: “I know how fed up residents are with antisocial behaviour and I have worked hard with the Government and the Police and Crime Commissioner for real action to tackle this problem. 

“The new plan announced today, which includes a trailblazer project in Harlow, higher police presence, swifter and tougher sentencing especially in anti-social behaviour hotspots, will go a long way to restore local pride and help prevent more serious crime.

“The new measures will come into effect quickly meaning that Harlow residents can feel safer on the streets and in their local communities. By taking this action, we are building an even better Harlow so that residents can be proud of our town and where they call home.”

Commenting on the action plan announced today, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Anti-social behaviour undermines the basic right of people to feel safe in the place they call home.

“The public have rightly had enough – which is why I am determined to restore people’s confidence that those responsible will be quickly and visibly punished.

“This action plan maps out how we will tackle this issue with the urgency it deserves and stamp out these crimes once and for all – so that wherever you live, you can feel safe in, and proud of your community.”

Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, added: “I very much welcome these new government measures to combat anti-social behaviour, and the funding to back them. 

“We have piloted hotspot policing in Essex, and have worked closely with our Community Safety Partners to get anti-social behaviour down by over half in the last seven years.

“But too often residents find they cannot use public spaces, or are distressed by dysfunctional behaviour. These new measures mean we will be able to keep more people safe, and feeling safe.”

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15 Comments for Robert Halfon MP backs PM’s plan for major crackdown on antisocial behaviour in Harlow:

gary roberts
2023-03-28 05:54:26

Is this news? Did you expect Halfon not to "back" his leader? However, Sunak was shown up as all cheap suit and no substance yesterday in Chelmsford. When the country needs serious help, telling people that fly tipping is bad and should be stopped and that "laughing gas" will be banned wont put food in people's mouths. Must be an election soon!

Andre du Preez
2023-03-28 07:32:16

I back this 100%. However, fines mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING if they aren't enforced. Let's face it, at national level, our motorways and slip roads are so litter-ridden they look like landfills and at local level, in Harlow, I walk the exact same route to litter pick every 2 weeks and always manage to fill at least two large rubbish bags. Litter is a massive problem in this country, so I support the attempt to fix this and the increased fines on litter and fly-tipping, however, not seen any cameras go up to monitor heavily littered areas (at national or local level), so not yet convinced that simply increasing the fine amounts will stop anyone from littering or dumping rubbish next to our roads. Hope I'm wrong.

Edward Huxtable
2023-03-28 09:48:24

Andre , I completely agree with you. I litter pick along my road as well , if we cannot catch everyone littering , hopefully more people like us will go outside their properties and pick litter as well. All along Paringdon Road with 3 schools is disgusting.

Luke Burton
2023-03-28 09:53:29

You've had 13-years. What makes this plan different to countless overs unveiled during your party's tenure in government?

Edward Vine
2023-03-28 14:19:25

Ritchie mentioned "hot spot" policing. As we have already seen in Harlow town centre, criminals and antisocial groups simply move into neighbouring estates and areas. More in-depth solutions are needed.

Dan Long
2023-03-28 16:58:11

He makes me laugh, one minute he is on about housing unveted immigrants who could have been uo to no good in their own countries next minute he on about cutting back on Anti social behaviour. If he wants to cut back on Anti social behaviour here in Harlow, he only has to have a word with the Labour opposition party of Harlow and their voters because it is mainly them who are the biggest course of anti social behaviour in Harlow and I have been in the firing line and experience this sport of behaviour personally by left wing Labour supporters and councillors, as my time as a local councillor here in Harlow. If anything Robert, get these roads and pavements in Harlow sorted out, A,S A P.

Peter Henegan
2023-03-28 21:03:46

I wonder, is making shed loads out of covid or hotelling immigrants anti social. Still, i won't knock it but will it really happen

2023-03-29 08:16:29

We've heard it all before. The Conservatives said if we voted Brexit food prices would come down. They went up. The Conservatives promised if we voted for them locally they would fix the potholes. They've got worse. Rishi Sunak said he'd lead a government of integrity, but Conservative MPs are still on the take. And I don't know how many times we've heard the Conservatives promise to crack down on anti social behaviour while pursuing policies that actually increase it.

David Vincent
2023-03-29 08:51:02

The only anti-social behaviour Dan Long suffered at the hands of left-wing activists was Stand Up to UKIP and Hope not Hate campaigners exposing the lies, anti-working class policies and racist agenda of UKIP. As for the Labour Party activists, most of them were content to sit back, watch and reap the rewards. Those that did help could be counted on one hand and I greatly thank them for their support.

Andy Bray
2023-03-29 20:57:27

Harlow had an excellent multi-agency approach dealing with anti-social behaviour. Unfortunately the 'austerity' cuts dismantled the teams involved. These latest largely toothless measures are a belated attempt by the government to clear up a mess created by their own policies.

Cllr James Griggs (Lab)
2023-03-30 16:23:03

Andy Bray has nailed it!

Mark Gough
2023-04-01 15:00:11

David Vincent - were those the same Stand up to Racism and Hope not Hate organisations that were created by convicted paedophiles and couldn't tell the difference between the vile BNP and sensible controlled immigration policies of UKIP? I'm interested to know what he's applauding, because every piece of literature from those two groups were full of lies!

Mark Gough
2023-04-01 15:06:14

It's interesting to see Labour - the Party that gave us the Uncontrolled Immigration and Early Release Policies of 1997-2010 Labour Government blaming others for these issues. In 2003 a leftie Lawyer fought for the rights of Illigals in criminal cases, and then became the head of public prosecutions who helped bring in early release. He was later knighted for this. His name - Kier Starmer!

Dan Long
2023-04-01 15:15:59

Well said Mark on both your comments. You are 100% spot on. The lefties are for ever blaming others for the downfalls and major error as well as playing the crying wolf we they have been up to NO good. This those who have links to the Labour party, Liberal democrats and the T,U,C.

Anital Long
2023-04-01 15:46:19

Well said Dan Long and Mark Gough, Anti social behaviour hasn't be tackled by either party. I won't be voting for any of the main 3 parties all they do is make promises and break them, our Council Tax has gone up under both parties, but still don't see any service for what we pay. Don't come knocking on our door for votes, as you will be told in uncertain terms where to go.

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