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United Kingdom : Ford Partnership central to protecting victims of anti-social behaviour.

Justice Minister David Ford has opened an anti-social behaviour awareness seminar in Cookstown.

The seminar has been held in response to the views which came out of the consultation on the Executive s Community Safety Strategy, consultees wanted the statutory response to anti-social behaviour to deliver for the community. Those in attendance included the PSNI, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, local councils, Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs), NI Federation of Housing Association (NIFHA), the Department for Social Development and the Department of Justice.

David Ford said: Tackling anti-social behaviour is a priority for the Executive to be addressed through my Department s Community Safety Strategy. Victims of anti-social behaviour often face serious disruption to their quality of life, in particular some of the most vulnerable groups in our society.

Given the varying nature of anti-social behaviour, a number of organisations are involved in addressing it. This seminar has helped raise awareness at an operational level of the roles and responsibilities of the various agencies. Partnership working is the key to tackling this issue. I want to ensure that everyone involved has knowledge of the responsibilities of others and the powers available to them so that they can work in a more collaborative way to develop local solutions to local problems.

The event was organised by the Anti-social Behaviour Delivery Group, established by the Department of Justice, whose role is to take forward the anti-social behaviour Action Plan from the Community Safety Strategy, which was published in 2012. This event was specifically for E, F and G Police Districts. A similar event was held on 22 January in Newtownabbey for A, B, C, D and H Districts.

In a follow up to the seminars, the Department has launched a Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) leaflet for the public to provide some further information on anti-social behaviour and who to contact for help. Information is also available on nidirect - Tackling Anti-Social Behaviourexternal link.

David Ford continued: It is vital that there is a clear understanding of what constitutes anti-social behaviour. I consider that the distinction between anti-social behaviour and criminal behaviour has perhaps become blurred. The term anti-social behaviour is used as a catch all term for a wide range of behaviours but there is clearly a difference between being a nuisance and inconsiderate and engaging in criminal activity.

My Department has made information available to the public on the issue of anti-social behaviour and who to contact for help in various situations.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Apr 16, 2014
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