UK Government must place more focus on the causes of anti-social behaviour

27th March 2023

The UK Government’s plans for a ‘zero tolerance approach’ to anti-social behaviour will be welcome news to our communities. The extra powers for policing and local authority partners to deal with anti-social behaviour sound positive and, provided they are backed by appropriate funding, would allow us to focus additional resources into hot spots and problem areas.

However, the complex problem of anti-social behaviour will not be solved by the issuing of a plan, and I am concerned that there seems to be an almost singular focus on treating the symptoms of anti-social behaviour and not the causes.

To tackle anti-social behaviour we need understand and address issues such as wide-spread poverty, a lack of positive adult role models for young people, a lack of services, and a lack of educational and employment opportunities.

There are some commitments in today’s announcement for investment in youth provision, and creating more opportunities for young people. This is what we are already trying to achieve with our partners here in Gwent, and this is where I feel the UK Government’s focus should be if it is serious about tackling anti-social behaviour in our communities.

Yes, those who cause serious anti-social behaviour in our communities must face justice. But a far better solution for the long term is to work together to stop them committing these behaviours in the first place.