Tuesday, 04 July 2006

Anti-social behaviour vignette As if to take me to task for the views I expressed the other day about the Respect Squad, I just had a lengthy phone conversation with a woman in a tower block. She is experiencing some pretty unpleasant and intimidating behaviour from her neighbours above and not getting much joy from the anti-social behaviour unit to whom she has repeatedly complained. Does this justify the notion of a flying squad? My friend told me she dreads late afternoon on a friday because that's when the noise really starts. The neighbours know that she can't get any response from the ASB Unit over the weekend, so they turn up the volume and start the banging. Apparently an ASB officer came recently during the day when things were fairly quiet, but turned in horror saying 'what is that dreadful noise?' They haven't really started yet, says my friend, but together they went up, the officer calling through the door with all the fearful authority of a sunday-school teacher, 'don't do that it's not nice.' Will the threat of the mission squad doing picturesque SAS-type tricks ten floors up have an impact on the performance of the local authority? That part of the logic may have justification - my friend will now go back to them quoting the Home Office press release - and I'm glad that this conversation has given me the opportunity to reflect further on the policy. Always willing to revise my opinion and learn, I hope. But does the failure of local agencies to apply the powers they have, really justify the policy and its publicity?

Recent Comments