29 March 2023
Dunne welcomes new Hotspot Policing programme in West Midlands

South Shropshire MP, Philip Dunne, welcomes the news that perpetrators of anti-social behaviour will face swift and visible justice through Hotspot Policing.

Nitrous Oxide will be banned under the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, and the police will have more powers to test criminal offenders for a range of drugs upon arrest.

The government is giving police and local councils new tools to tackle the problem of anti-social behaviour, levelling up and restoring pride in local communities.

Sixteen areas in England and Wales, including West Mercia Police, will be funded to support either new ‘hotspot’ police and enforcement patrols in areas with the highest rates of anti-social behaviour or trial a new ‘Immediate Justice’ scheme to deliver swift and visible punishments.

Offenders committing anti-social behaviour will be made to repair the damage they leave inflicted on victims and communities. The intent is for them to start work as soon as 48 hours after their offence. Under the new Action Plan, offenders will wear high-vis vests or jumpsuits to pick up litter, remove graffiti and wash police cars as visible punishment.

Victims of anti-social behaviour from the local community will be given a say in offenders’ punishments to ensure justice is visible and fits the crime.

Stronger punishments will also be handed out to those who graffiti, litter, or fly-tip, with increased fines of up to between £500 and £1,000 depending on the offence.

Police will also be given new powers to crack down on illegal drug use, with expanded powers for drug testing on arrest.

Commenting, Dunne said:

“Anti-social behaviour is unacceptable. It prevents people from spending time in their local area, makes women and girls feel unsafe, and erodes a sense of community. Tackling this crime is key to levelling up and restoring pride in local communities. This will help people feel safe in the place they call home.

“This announcement builds on the increased number of officers patrolling our streets. In West Mercia the number of badged police officers has risen 23% in four years from 2,008 in March 2019 to 2,475 police officers. The government was elected on a manifesto commitment to recruit an additional 20,000 officers during this parliament. These extra 467 officers provide the extra capacity across West Mercia to carry out the localised policing residents have been asking for including in our rural community here in Shropshire”.