Select Committee on Home Affairs Written Evidence

15. Supplementary memorandum submitted by the Home Office


Request for information

  Please provide details about the following:

(a)   the ASB Unit in the Home Office, for instance

Its current staff complement and staff profile,

  ASBU staff complement is 33. Actual staff numbers were:

    —  31 December 2004-26

    —  30 November 2004-27

    —  31 October 2004-26

    —  30 September 2004-27

    —  31 August 2004-26

    —  31 July 2004—26

  ASBU's structure comprises of a Director and Deputy, Assistant Directors and then a Communications and Campaigns team, an Implementation and areas team, an Interventions team and a Whitehall, Ministerial and Parliamentary team. The Unit is staffed with a mixture of civil servants, secondees from other government departments, expert practitioners and some short term contract staff. The Unit is situated in the Crime Reduction and Community safety Group headed by Leigh Lewis.

Its current level of funding, and how this is spent

  Current level of funding:

    —  2003-04—25 million

    —  2004-05—24 million
Forecast of Expenditure24,000,000
CDRP funding9,400,000
Environmental crime3,908,018
Together action areas1,587,431
ASB Prosecutors1,128,500
Nuisance neighbours888,000
CSO Events800,000
Street scene795,450
Taking a stand awards565,000
Training events and materials975,000
Together campaign/Communications843,000
Public consultation events432,000
Together action line/web site491,437
ASB Bill measures361,087
Parenting projects300,000
Staff and other admin costs1,525,077

Its main programmes, activities and objectives

  The Unit's aims and objectives are to add value to the existing measures to tackle anti-social behaviour and to drive forward new policy, practice and action.

  ASBU works together with other government departments, tenants, residents and the public, and seeks to make an immediate and lasting difference to the lives of people who experience anti-social behaviour day after day. The Unit challenges the culture that exists in some communities that means anti-social behaviour is not tackled.

  ASBU has policy lead responsibility for Anti-social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs). Policy for other areas generally lies with mainstream HO Units or with other Government Departments. ASBU does, however, reinforce activity and take forward specific work flowing directly from the Anti-social Behaviour Act and the Together campaign. These broadly fall into the following categories:

    —  tackling nuisance neighbours;

    —  tackling begging, street drinking;

    —  tackling environmental anti-social behaviour;

    —  victims and witnesses;

    —  improving the response (the Together actionline; the Together Academy; funding for ASB Co-ordinators in Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships); and

    —  building infrastructure—ASB prosecutors; magistrates' sentencing.

Its arrangements for ensuring effective co-ordination with other relevant Departments (such as DCMS, ODPM, DfES and DEFRA)

  ASBU has various methods of ensuring co-ordination with relevant government departments.

  At a strategic level Hazel Blears is a member of the ODPM Ministerial Group on Cleaner, Safer, Greener which delivers ODPM target PSA 8. ASB is a key part of this target. Furthermore Hazel also has bilaterals with Phil Hope on these issues. The Unit is also planning to hold a Ministerial Stocktake led by Hazel Blears in the spring.

  At a senior management level ASBU is part of the official level group on Cleaner, Safer, Greener. The Unit also regularly attends such events as the Sustainable Communities Conference and senior staff briefings. ASBU are part of the DEFRA Joint Agency Forum which supports the Government in delivering its strategy for Cleaner, Safer, Greener communities by amongst other things, informing and challenging the national policy framework, raising issues not addressed by the Government's strategy and acting as champions for the Cleaner, Greener, Safer brand. ASBU are also part of the DEFRA Fly-Posting Action Group. ASBU recently held a two day stocktake with the CPS and officials here have monthly bilaterals with the CPS and DCA. ASBU, through Home Office policy leads also has links into the work on licensing of DCMS and work on Young People led by DfES.

  At a delivery level ODPM also contributed £350,000 to the set up of our TOGETHER Academies, Actionline and Website, and assist in ensuring up-to-date housing related material is available on the Website. The Unit also funds a member of staff based in ODPM working on housing who co-ordinates work between the two departments. The Unit also has a secondee from DEFRA who leads on enviro issues within the Unit. Again, as with ODPM, we work with DEFRA on all enviro related materials for the TOGETHER Website and event programmes.

(b)   the extent to which the powers mentioned in the Home Office submission to the Committee have been used, providing as many figures as possible (and broken down, as far as possible, by time-period, age and geographical area)

  ASBU carried out a survey over the Summer of 2004 to establish what progress Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRPs) had made in implementing the TOGETHER Campaign. This was sent to the anti-social behaviour co-ordinator of every CDRP in England and Wales. 239 responded to the survey, which represents a 66% response rate. The survey asked about use and enforcement of powers as well as perception of success and staffing levels.

  An estimate of use of powers for the year from 1 October 2003 to 30 of September 2004 has been made. This is based on actual figures for the 11 months from 1 October 2003 to 31 August 2004, plus the anti-social behaviour co-ordinators' report of planned or anticipated use of powers during September 2004. The data should therefore be treated as an estimate.

  CDRPs estimates:

    —  2,633 ASBOs issued between October 2003 and September 2004;

    —  158 crack house closure orders made between January 2004 and September 2004;

    —  418 dispersal orders between January 2004 and September 2004;

    —  824 parenting contracts and orders between October 2003 and September 2004;

    —  5,383 acceptable behaviour contracts between October 2003 and September 2004; and

    —  85% of local authorities have increased their use of ASBOs in the year since the launch of the TOGETHER Action Plan.

  A further breakdown of the National Survey is attached at Annex A.

General questions

1.   The definition of anti-social behaviour (ASB) is broad, and refers not so much to actual behaviour but to the effects of behaviour (ie likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress). What do you see as the advantages of this? Are there disadvantages and risks?

  The first statutory definition of ASB was contained in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 in relation to ASBOs The definition stated that an ASBO could be used when a "person has acted . . . in an anti-social manner, that is to say, in a manner that has caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as himself".

  If we were to strictly define anti-social behaviour by certain types of behaviour/actions run the risk of excluding some types of behaviour that are problematic or including others which may not be. This we believe would restrict action and we want agencies to have the flexibility to tackle anti-social behaviour in the way it manifests itself locally.

  The definition enables local partnerships to consider the impact and perception of behaviours locally when drawing up their own definition of anti-social behaviour. To assist local partnerships with this process, a typology of behaviours commonly thought of as anti-social has been developed by the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate. A list derived from this typology was used for a one day snap shot of reports of anti-social behaviour in September 2003. (See: Home Office Development and Practice Report 26).

  The advantage is that it allows local partnerships to be responsive to the specific needs and concerns of residents in their local area. A disadvantage could be that there is no common standard for data recording—we think the importance of responsiveness to local concerns is more important.

  The issue of a definition of ASB was further considered as part of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's consultation paper Tackling Anti-Social Tenants (issued in April 2002). Respondents were clear that a strict definition would not be helpful and was not necessary.

2.   ASB includes several acts, which are already criminal offences, raising the possibility of criminal acts being dealt with through civil proceedings. Is this of concern to the Home Office? How commonplace is this?

  It is important to understand the nature of anti-social behaviour in order to understand why the current interventions used to tackle anti-social behaviour are needed.

  Anti-social behaviour is often characterised by repeated but low level incidents, often by people neighbours, or others who are known in the community—there is a proximity between the victim and perpetrator that makes people afraid to report incidents, fearing repeat victimisation, intimidation or reprisal. Often when police arrive at an incident everything has gone quiet, there is no incident to witness and victims are reluctant to come forward.

  If there is a crime committed and evidence of this, then this may be dealt with as a one off offence and prosecuted through the criminal justice system. However, when the situation involves chronic and ongoing incidents, as anti-social behaviour often is, by one or two individuals, carrying out a wide range of activity often against the same households or individuals, the priority should be to protect victims. Civil proceedings which prohibit behaviour such as injunctions can be obtained quickly.

  In tackling anti-social behaviour (using the new tools such as ASBOs, housing and anti-social behaviour injunctions, closure orders, and dispersal powers) there is a likelihood that criminal activity will be tackled at the same time, but this is not always the case. Using a civil sanction such as an injunction or ASBO does not prevent criminal prosecutions being pursued simultaneously.

  This alone does not concern us and there is a range of interventions, to deal with anti-social behaviour, which use the criminal or civil route. What is important is selecting the intervention that will best deal with the situation, providing an effective and swift remedy with further protection for individuals and the community.

  Injunctions and restraining orders had been used long before the new interventions were introduced. Anti-social behaviour is not the only field in which civil and criminal remedies are employed to tackle the behaviour and protect victims. (for example restraining orders/injunctions used in domestic violence cases alongside prosecution).

3.   Why has the Home Office committed to a Public Service Agreement (PSA) target to reduce the fear of ASB, but not the level of ASB itself?

  Anti-social behaviour includes issues that are tackled by the police, by local authorities and other local agencies. There is no comprehensive national source of statistics on incidents of ASB, data that is collected is patchy and of variable quality.

  The majority of ASB incidents—such as incidents of nuisance behaviour or graffiti- are difficult to measure; different definitions and recording methods are used in different areas. In addition, anti-social behaviour is under reported and so incident data can not be considered reliable.

  At a national level it is possible to measure perception of levels of ASB consistently and robustly through the seven strands of the BCS:

    —  Abandoned or burnt out cars.

    —  Noisy neighbours or loud parties.

    —  People being drunk or rowdy in public places.

    —  People using or dealing drugs.

    —  Teenagers hanging around on the streets.

    —  Rubbish or litter lying around.

    —  Vandalism, graffiti and other deliberate damage to properties.

  Perception of anti-social behaviour being a significant problem in an area is also measured through the ODPM's local government user satisfaction survey so that local authority areas have clear information on what is happening locally.

  Perception of anti-social behaviour is an indicator of actual experience of ASB. The BCS has established that a high proportion of those perceiving problems in their area had experienced problems in the previous 12 months (ref Perceptions and experiences of anti-social behaviour, Findings no 252, Home Office 2004).

  Reducing perception of, as ASB is in itself useful: perception of as ASB has a negative impact on quality of life. BCS analysis shows that those who experienced as ASB often were most likely to experience a negative effect on their quality of life: a high frequency of experience was found to be the strongest predictor of high impact on quality of life.

4.   The Action Plan on ASB for the next two to three years prioritises three types of ASB: nuisance neighbours, environmental crime and begging. Why were these areas chosen?

  These issues were initially chosen for the TOGETHER Action Plan as many practitioners and members of the public had raised them with the Unit during its early days when the White Paper was being written. It was necessary at that stage to give a focus to the work and galvanise action around specific issues. The Action Plan ensured that these would become priorities so that the Unit could grip them, develop new solutions and ensure that best practice could be developed in the trailblazer areas.

5.   What Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) do you use to monitor the Home Office strategy on ASB? Which data are published?

  Perception of ASB is measured through the British Crime Survey. This is the single measurement used to gauge the success of the Home Office strategy on ASB. Using this measure, the proportion of people estimated to perceive a high level of anti-social behaviour in their local area fell from 21% to 16% between 2002-03 and 2003-04.

6.   According to the latest figures, it is becoming more common both for anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) to be taken out against young people and for young people to enter custody as a result of a breach of an ASBO. Does the Home Office take this as demonstrating that tough measures are working, or is it seen as a matter of concern?

  Although the number of ASBOs issued is increasing, the ratio between orders issued for juveniles and orders issued for adults has remained consistently at around 50:50. As the number of ASBOs increase there is likely to be a corresponding increase in the number of breaches.

  Out of a total of 474 ASBOs issued to juveniles during June 2000 to December 2002, 170 were breached (36%). Of the 170 breaches, 71 juveniles received an immediate custodial sentence (42%). A range of other disposals were used (see table at Annex B). New data up to December 2003 will be available shortly.

  The sentence given should be proportionate and reflect the impact of the anti-social behaviour. From data reported to the Home Office, we know that those young people who received custody for breach of ASBO were persistent offenders, with only 15% of sentences to custody resulting from breach of ASBO alone. There is no evidence that breach of ASBOs alone are leading to increases in custody.

  We do not consider the breach rate to be the indication of whether or not ASBOs are effective. ASBOs are designed to protect the community by prohibiting certain sorts of behaviour. If the ASBO is not breached, the community remains protected. When an ASBO is breached, a criminal offence will occur requiring further interventions.

7.   Does imprisonment only ever follow a serious breach of an ASBO, or can it be imposed for a technical breach—even where no criminal or anti-social act has taken place?

  Breach of an order itself is a criminal offence. Parliament made it so. There is no true distinction between "technical" or "serious" breach. If the terms of the order are in place to stop alarm, harassment and intimidation to members of the public then once breached that is a criminal offence and tried accordingly in a Court of Law.

  From data reported to the Home Office for the period June 2000 to December 2002, we know that in the case of breach of order by juveniles, 42% received immediate custody, other disposals included, fine, community sentence and discharge. For adults, 58% of those that breached received immediate custody.

  The courts assess the impact of the breach on the community and apply the appropriate sentence. If a court assesses an offence as being low level without aggravating features then the severest penalties may not be appropriate. This is an entirely appropriate exercise of judicial discretion. There are a range of disposals available for ASBO breaches. These range from fines to community sentences and custody. The full range of disposals of the youth court are available, and custody should only be considered as a last resort in cases of serious or persistent breach.

8.   Is the prevention of ASB as central as enforcement to the work of the ASB Unit, or does this aspect tend to be dealt with by other relevant Government Departments?

  The prevention of ASB is core to the work of other departments, and the work of the Unit was not about replacing what was already being done, but rather to drive the agenda forward and make a difference on the ground. The work is not either/or—prevention and enforcement are two sides of the same coin.

  The Government's strategy is to ensure that all available powers are understood and that the tools that have been sought by practitioners are used to bring relief to communities. This may be interpreted as enforcement. Enforcement is often used to describe action involving court proceedings (such as ASBOs or eviction proceedings). In this context ABCs are not seen as enforcement because they occur outside the court process. However the Unit would say that everything from warnings, through to ABCs to ASBOs are enforcement—because they are enforcing standards of behaviour.

Specific questions on the Home Office written submission

P6  "The Government is committed to ensuring local agencies have the powers they need to reduce the impact of ASB". Does the regular use of these powers have resource implications and, if so, is the Government able and willing to provide the extra resources needed?

  If used wisely and well tools to tackle anti-social behaviour can reduce and prevent crime and disorder. It is also the case that the more experienced agencies and staff have become mean they become quicker and easier they are to use. This should have positive implications for resourcing the work.

  Although tacking anti-social behaviour across the spectrum of litter to problem families is core work for local authorities and the police and therefore resourced locally, the Government has made new and additional resources available to improve the infrastructure to tackle anti-social behaviour. £9.4 million in 2004-05 and 2005-06 ensured that each CDRP receives the minimum of £25,000 for two years to underpin their work.

P7  The information about Acceptable Behaviour Contracts is now two-and-a-half years old. Does the Home Office have more up-to-date information? Are there any plans to acquire it?

  The Home Office does not routinely collect statistics on the use of acceptable behaviour contracts or agreements (ABCs or ABAs). ABC schemes, have been developed by a range of agencies whose role it is to prevent such behaviour (including police, Yots, schools, housing departments etc).

  However, in the national survey of anti-social behaviour, CDRPs estimated that 5,383 contracts had been signed in England and Wales between October 2003 and September 2004. 78% of local authorities said they were using more acceptable behaviour contracts than in the previous year.

P7  Are there any plans for a review of the Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) scheme? If so, what form would this review take?

  The penalty notice for disorder scheme is still in its infancy and will continue to be closely monitored by the Home Office to ensure its continued effectiveness.

  PNDs were piloted in four police force areas between August 2002 and September 2003. The pilots were reviewed and evaluated. (Findings from the interim and final evaluation reports are published as Home Office Research Findings Nos 232 and 257, available on the Home Office website under Research and Development—Publications—2004.)

  The scheme was rolled out to all forces in England and Wales during the 2003-04 financial year following the announcement on 14 May 2003 by David Blunkett, the then Home Secretary, that the scheme would be rolled out early in the light of positive feedback from the pilots. Over 40,000 PNDs had been issued up to the end of October 2004.

  As part of the on-going development of the scheme, three new firework offences were added with effect from 11 October 2004 and a further seven offences, retail theft (up to a maximum of £200), criminal damage (up to a maximum of £500), four alcohol misuse offences targeting under age drinking and littering were added to the scheme from 1 November. The use of penalty notices for the two new penalty offences of theft and criminal damage is being reviewed by the Home Office in consultation with the police and retail sector representatives. The review will look at the numbers of penalty notices issued, the value of goods or amount of damage involved; the issue of repeat offenders, feedback from the police and retail sector. It will examine the effectiveness of the revised Police Operational Guidance and the advice it provides on issuing penalty notices for these offences.

  On 27 December 2004, powers were brought into effect to enable seven police force areas to commence a 12-month pilot for the issuing of PNDs to 10-15 year olds. The pilots will be subject to a full evaluation, the results of which will be published. The evaluation will analyse the use of PNDs for this age group, payments of penalties or fines by the parent/guardian and interviews will be undertaken with police officers issuing PNDs, recipients and their parent/guardian (subject to their agreement).

  A National Operational Forum is to be established early in 2005 (which replaces the role of the Operational Working Group formed for the adult pilots) which has continued to provide advice through the establishment of the scheme across all forces in England and Wales for both adults and juveniles. The purpose of the forum will be to provide operational feedback on the penalty notice for disorder scheme, disseminate good practice, and keep the Operational Guidance and penalty notice format under review developing and agreeing revisions as necessary.

  A cost/benefit analysis is also to be undertaken in 2005 seeking to evidence the effectiveness of the scheme in support of the positive feedback from frontline police officers.

  Consideration will be given in 2005 to looking again at adding more offences with a specific need to amend the alcohol-related offences, in consultation with DCMS, when the Licensing Act 2003 is brought into effect.

P8  Why do ASBOs run for a minimum of two years? Does this not run the risk that they will be disproportionate (especially given that referral orders last between 3 to 12 months)?

  A minimum period of two years was made to reflect the need for the orders to bring respite to communities and for behaviour to be changed.

  ASBOs are designed to protect the community not to punish the perpetrator; referral orders are for punishing and rehabilitating an offender. As such these are not directly comparable.

  Stand-alone ASBOs can be varied and they may also be discharged before the two years period with the consent of both parties.

  Currently only the defendant can apply to vary or discharge conditions. However, proposals in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill (introduced to Parliament on 24 November) will allow the applicant as well as the defendant to vary or discharge orders made on conviction.

P9  Why do Individual Support Orders (ISOs) last for a maximum of six months when ASBOs last for at least four times as long? Should these not run together?

  The ISO provides a means by which a 10-17 year old with an ASBO receives interventions that address the cause of their anti-social behaviour. An order lasting six months was considered reasonable and proportionate with human rights legislation. To compel an individual to receive support on a longer term basis would infringe on their liberty and be considered a penalty rather then a support initiative. In addition there is an expectation that the underlying causes of the anti-social behaviour—such as drugs, alcohol or anger management problems—should improve significantly over six months and therefore remove the requirement to continue receiving the support an ISO offers.

P9  Given that section 30 dispersal powers can be used even where there is no ASB, how do you ensure that they are being used proportionately and appropriately? Are you gathering evidence as to where "gangs" disperse following the use of these powers?

  A dispersal area can only be designated where a police officer of the rank of superintendent has reasonable grounds for believing that anti-social behaviour is a significant and persistent problem in an area and members of the public have been intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed as a result of the presence or behaviour of groups in that area. They cannot be made where there has been no ASB. The local authority has to agree to the dispersal designation before it is made—therefore dispersal notices are not solely at police discretion. In addition, we expect that managers within the police ensure that the direction power is used and enforced in a matter, which is consistent, continued and fair.

  We are not gathering evidence as to where "gangs" disperse following the use of these powers. However, there is evidence that dispersal powers are having a very significant effect in hotspot areas. An example is cited below.

P11  Will the effect of Designated Public Places Orders (DPPOs) not be to move problem drinkers from one location to another? How is the effectiveness of DPPOs monitored?

  The creation of designated areas may well lead to anti-social drinking or nuisance being displaced into areas that have not been designated for this purpose. Therefore before making an area designated, local authorities should make an assessment of areas to where they reasonably believe that nuisance or disorder will be displaced ensuring that all those affected by the designation are appropriately consulted. This is to allow for full consideration to be given to the consequences of the designation order on the neighbouring authority. It might be appropriate for a local authority to designate an area beyond that which is experiencing the immediate problems caused by anti-social drinking if police evidence suggests that the existing problem may be displaced once the DPPO was in place.

  There is no central government monitoring of the effectiveness of DPPOs. If the local authority concerned wished to set up their own monitoring arrangements that would be entirely for them to decide.

  However, there is a requirement set out in the "Statutory Instrument 2001—The Local Authorities (Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places) Regulations 2001" that "a copy of any order made shall be sent to the Secretary of State". To date 134 local authorities have notified the Home Office of the designated zones they have created.

  The take-up indicates that local authorities have found that DPPOs are helping them to tackle the problems of anti-social public drinking. The results of the summer (2004) alcohol misuse enforcement campaign were published in September 2004. The Lessons Learned document includes several case studies that highlight the benefits of having a DPPO in place as an effective tool to help tackle the problems of anti-social public drinking.

P13  Should arms-length management organisations (ALMOs) be given powers to apply for ASBOs and injunctions? If not, why not?

  It is almost inevitable that, in carrying out housing management functions on a local authority's behalf, ALMOs will be called upon to tackle anti-social behaviour. ALMOs, through the delegation of housing management functions can already access a range of tools that will help protect communities from anti-social behaviour. This includes, for example, housing injunctions, demotion and possession on ASB grounds.

  We believe that local authorities should have the flexibility to make appropriate local decisions to ensure that their functions are carried out as effectively as possible, not least tackling anti-social behaviour. The Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill (SOCPB), currently before Parliament, contains a provision that will allow local authorities to contract out their ASBO powers to other organisations.

  ODPM are currently undertaking a wide-ranging review of the long term future of ALMOs which will produce a formal consultation document in the Spring. It is likely that this will include consultation on whether or not it might be appropriate for local authorities to be able to contract out ASBO powers to ALMOs managing some or all of their housing stock.

P19  How many hits of the TOGETHER website and how many calls to ActionLine have there been since these were launched?

  The Action line was launched in March 2004 and up to December 2004 it had received over 6,200 calls and e-mails. The Website went live on 7 June 2004 and figures to the end of December 2004 show it has had over 49,700 visits to date.

P20  How many fixed penalty notices have been issued specifically by Community Support Officers? Can these figures be broken down according to the offence?

  The Home Office currently collects data nationally on fixed penalty notices for each police force, broken down by offence. However, the data requirement from forces does not distinguish between those issued by police officers and those issued by community support officers.

  Work is in hand to further refine the data requirement by issuer. Forces have been notified that we will be making this change, so as to enable them to prepare for it.

P21  Apart from sources of funding, what are the essential differences between Neighbourhood Wardens (and, for that matter, "street wardens") and CSOs? Why have these two different groups? Will Neighbourhood Wardens still be necessary once the number of CSOs has risen to over 20,000?

  Neighbourhood Wardens is the generic name now used for all Wardens. The distinction at the outset of the programmes can be categorised as follows:

  Neighbourhood wardens provide a uniformed presence in residential areas with the aim of enhancing quality of life issues. Wardens promote community safety, assist with environmental improvements and housing management, but also contribute to community development. Wardens may patrol, carry out concierge duties or act as "super caretakers" playing a significant role in effective neighbourhood management. Wardens can help deliver local crime and disorder reduction targets. They are the "ears and eyes" of the police, local authority and community.

  Street Wardens are similar to neighbourhood warden, but have more of an emphasis on caring for the physical appearance of the area. They tackle environmental problems such as litter, graffiti and dog fouling, as well as promoting community safety. They also help to deter anti-social behaviour; reduce the fear of crime; and foster social inclusion.

  Inevitably, there may be some overlap with community support officers in that environmental issues may have an anti-social element and the solutions wardens can bring (and sometimes their mere presence) may reduce or deter anti-social behaviour and low level disorder. However, CSOs in contrast, are under the direction of the police and have a more enforcement-based focus than wardens, with more powers to tackle anti-social behaviour and public nuisance (such as the power to require name and address for anti-social behaviour and the power to confiscate alcohol and tobacco). While they do deal with environmental and social issues, the core role of the CSO role is providing high-visibility policing and dealing with ASB.

  There is demand from local authorities to maintain the distinction between local authority wardens focusing on environmental and social problems and police-controlled CSOs dealing primarily with low-level disorder. We believe the distinction is a positive one and ensures that the widest possible range of local issues will be addressed.

P23  Are perpetrators of ASB sent to ASB Response Courts instead of or in addition to regular courts? Why was it felt that ASB in particular justified having special courts, as opposed to other areas of offending?

  Supporting witnesses is a particular issue in anti-social behaviour cases due to likelihood of repeat victimisation, fear of reprisals, knowing the perpetrator etc Creating an environment that fosters confidence and trust is a vital part of encouraging people to act as formal witnesses. For this reason, DCA have developed anti-social behaviour response courts (ASBRC).

  An ASBRC is a special court sitting held in a regular court and operates in a number of ways, depending on the local need. Magistrates, court clerks and all courts staff make every effort to avoid delays, and sentencers are fully aware and trained on the range of powers available to tackle ASB. There is also active local engagement between the courts and other partners with courts receiving regular updates on the impact of ASB on the community.

  Other types of offending—such as domestic violence—do also have similar special arrangements in order to encourage victims to come forward. These are necessary because of the particularly difficult circumstances which can result in intimidation and reprisals.

  Specialist ASB prosecutors complement the response courts and also play their part in ensuring cases are dealt with swiftly, effectively and in tune with the needs of local communities.

P25  Please provide more information about these diversionary programmes, including details of their content (perhaps with some examples), what is known about their effectiveness, when decisions will be made as to whether to extend the pilots and which Government Department is responsible for support and evaluation. More specifically, who sits on the Youth Inclusion and Support Panels (YISPs)? Is there ever an overlap between Positive Futures programmes and Youth Inclusion Programmes?

  The Youth Inclusion Programmes (YIPs) and Youth Inclusion and Support Panels (YISPS) are part of the Government's wider programme to target young people at risk of getting involved in criminal and anti-social behaviour. These are essentially intensive intervention programmes that target the risk factors often associated with young people's offending.

1.  Youth Inclusion Programme (YIPs): key facts

  The Youth Inclusion Programme runs in 72 of the most deprived neighbourhoods in England and Wales, each scheme targeting the 50 most at risk 13-16 year olds. The Home Office provides £7 million per year to the Youth Justice Board and this figure is matched by local funding sources in YIP areas. We are providing funding until April 2006. The Home Office Strategic Plan includes a commitment to increase the number of schemes by 50% by 2008.

  Participation in YIPs is voluntary, but the programmes seek to engage young people in constructive activities. In addition to focusing on the 50 most at risk young people, the programme also encourages wider groups of young people to participate in programme activities, including siblings and peers. Interventions take a variety of forms, from sport to more structured drugs education, health, education, including mentoring, arts and other constructive leisure activities, and motor workshops, and many other interventions, many of which are the result of local innovation. and employment advice sessions. The YJB manages the programmes through Youth Offending Teams (YOTs).

  Community Merit Award schemes in some YIP areas are a new part of the YIP approach to reducing youth crime in deprived areas. The schemes are business-sponsored and use incentives to motivate youngsters to work in the community and foster a sense of community responsibility at an early age. The "top 50" most at risk are identified by local agencies using a number of risk factors that are known to be associated with offending.

  The targets for the programme are as follows:

    —  To ensure at least 75% of the identified target group (the core 50) are engaged with, and that those engaged receive at least five hours of appropriate interventions per week.

    —  To reduce arrest rates among the target group by 70% compared to the 12 months prior to their engagement.

    —  To ensure 90% of those in the engaged target group are in suitable full-time education, training or employment.

Evaluation of YIP National Programme

  The impact of Yips show that

    —  66% of the target group engaged on an average of one hour per week.

    —  66% reduction in arrest rates for the target group.

  Currently 80% of those in the engaged target group are in suitable full-time education, training or employment (ETE).

  The Home Office Strategic Plan, "Confident Communities in a Secure Britain" includes a commitment to increase the number of early intervention schemes by 50%. This commitment is based on good evidence that the programme is working in reducing youth crime, plus providing real benefits to families, communities and individuals, including addressing poor educational attendance and achievement.

Example of YIP

  "Ways towards youth inclusion in Derby"

  Derby Youth Inclusion Programme (YIP) works with young people between the ages of 13 and 15 at risk of offending and diverting them from crime and helping them to fulfill their true potential by:

    —  raising aspirations;

    —  equipping them to aspire to excellence; and

    —  building self-esteem.

  Youth clubs, workshops (including art, DJing, gardening, outdoor activities and Youth Achievement Awards), days out and residential trips are among the activities on offer. One-to one mentoring is at the heart of the drive to provide support, challenge and friendship.

  Arrest rates for the young people taking part went down by 94.6% compared to the 12-month period before they signed up to the programme. Not only does the project reach 98% of the young people most at risk in the area, but it also works with another 100 who are their peers and siblings.

  The YIP is part of the Youth Justice Board's national programme and is delivered by the community-based "Enthusiasm Trust."

2.  Youth Inclusion and Support Panels (YISPs): Key facts

  93 pilot Youth Inclusion and Support Panels (YISPs) help to target children in the 8 to 13 age risk group. YISPs are funded through the Children's Fund. The main emphasis of the Panels' work is to ensure that children and their families receive, at the earliest possible opportunity, mainstream public services together with interventions from voluntary and community groups (eg Education, social services, youth service and mental health services).

  YISPs are multi-agency planning groups consisting of YOTs, Police, Social Services, Health , schools and other agencies depending on local circumstances, aimed at preventing high risk 8-13 year olds, many of which are pre-crime, from offending and anti-social behaviour by ensuring they are engaged with mainstream public services and receive targeted interventions from voluntary and community groups. The YISP referral criteria are:

    —  the behaviour of the child is of concern to two or more of partnership agencies;

    —  the child is exposed to four or more risk factors; and

    —  is known or a concern of a potential involvement in, criminal or anti-social behaviour.

  In April 2003 the Youth Justice Board set up 14 pilot YISPs to run for a year. The annual cost of each is understood to be £100,000, met by the Youth Justice Board and the Children's Fund. Although the majority of the panels did not start to take referrals until late summer and was largely due to recruiting panel members and gaining service agreements.

Evaluation of YISPs

  Evaluation of the pilots began in January 2004 and undertaken by Newcastle University studying both qualitative and quantative data. This information is gathered through the use of a Management Information System at each of the 14 pilots as well as researchers visiting individual projects to speak with practitioners, families, young people that attend the panel sessions. Extension of the evaluation is still being discussed with the DfES who were the original commissioning body but as yet no decision has been made.

3.  Positive Futures: Key facts

  Positive Futures programme was launched in March 2000 and is targeted at 10-19 year olds living in the most deprived neighbourhoods in England and Wales. Its objective is to have a positive influence on drug use and other negative behaviours of vulnerable young people. Since its launch over 51,000 young people have taken regular part in Positive Futures activities6[6], with 18,579 engaged at present in activities ranging from sports such as football and basketball, to wider more educational activities involving subjects such as the arts and substance misuse prevention. While sport is the catalyst used to encourage young people to initially participate, it is through the trust and mutual respect, built up between young people and project staff, that new opportunities and alternative lifestyles are introduced. Steering young people towards education and employment is at the heart of all projects' work.

  Positive Futures is managed by the Home Office Drugs Strategy Directorate, with an advisory group of representatives from other government departments, Sport England, the Youth Justice Board and the Football Foundation.

  Managed via statutory and non-statutory agencies, projects are steered by local partnerships typically comprising of local agencies, including Youth Offending Teams (YOTs), Youth Inclusion Programmes (YIPs), the Police, youth services, schools, local authorities, Connexions, social services, sports clubs, Drug Action Teams (DATs) and Community Safety Partnerships.

  Expenditure for 2004-05 is £6.2 million made up of targeted Home Office funding (£5.7 million) and Sport England funding (£0.5 million), plus funds contributed to projects by local partners.

  There are currently 108 Positive Futures projects. All of which are located in wards that are among the most deprived in England and Wales most deprived7[7], including the 30 areas of the country worst affected by drug related crime.

Monitoring and Evaluation

  A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation strategy supports Positive Futures, drawing on independent evidence from MORI. In addition the London School of Economics has undertaken research regarding young peoples' views and more recently research teams from Sheffield Hallam University, Goldsmiths College, London and Manchester Metropolitan University have been working on measuring the impact that sport-based social interventions have on young people's behaviour.

  The latest Positive Futures published progress report identifies over half of participants demonstrating a "high level of engagement", with an increasing number of young people seen as having improved social relationships with their peers. Key achievements of the young people within Positive Futures projects include the accomplishment of Community Sports Leader Awards, Duke of Edinburgh Awards, first aid and drug education training.

  Overlap between Positive Futures (PF) and YIPs exist only in their respective client groups based in high crime areas but differ in the interventions that each provide: YIPs are seen as skills based interventions that focus on the developmental needs of a young person at risk, while PF primarily uses sports activities to influence and deter those who are at risk of drug and other substance misuse.

P26  Are prolific offenders people who are frequently appearing before the courts, and being convicted on a number of separate occasions? Or would you also include people who, having committed a string of offences, are caught and convicted for the first time?

  The Prolific and other Priority Offenders (PPOs) strategy allows local areas the flexibility to determine, for themselves, which offenders are causing the most harm to their communities. This replaced the old Persistent Offender Scheme which included a centrally imposed national definition of a Core Persistent Offender—"those offenders who have been convicted of 6 or more offences within a rolling 12-month period".

  The general criteria for selecting PPOs is based on the nature and volume of crimes and other harm which an individual is causing and any local criteria based on the impact the individuals have on their local communities, using the National Intelligence Model process. Therefore the evidence used to identify a PPO for targeting could be a combination of actual convictions or police intelligence, depending on how local areas have decide to set up their selection methods. The PPO scheme should be used to deliver local priorities, particularly those connected to the national public service agreements relating to robbery, domestic burglary, vehicle crime and violent crime.

  Therefore, due to the local flexibility at the core of the strategy, identified PPOs could include both those offenders who have frequently appeared before the courts, and have a number of separate convictions, as well as those who are caught and convicted on their first offence.

P27-30  Which Government Department is responsible for the Children's Fund, Connexions and Youth Services? What is the current level of funding for each of these (as compared with the past three years)?

  Children, Young People and Families Directorate (CYPFD) based within Department for Education and Skills (DfES) is responsible for developing the Children's Fund, Connexions and Youth Services.


  The first Connexions Partnership began operating in 2001, however Connexions was phased in gradually and did not have national coverage until April 2003.

  Therefore ascertaining precise levels of funding is complex as Connexions brought together a number of services for young people. However a significant element of funding in this area before Connexions was established belonged to Careers Services.

    —  The Connexions Service budget for 2004-05 is £460 million.

    —  In 2003-04, Connexions funding was in excess of £450 million.

    —  In 2002-03, £430 million.

    —  In 2001-02, the combined Careers Service/Connexions Service budget was £320 million.

  The Partnership delivers services designed to meet the needs of young offenders and young people at risk of becoming involved in offending. The Partnership contributes towards the shared target with the Home Office: for 90% of 13-18 year olds, supervised by Youth Offending Teams, to be in education, training and employment by December 2004.

  However, Partnerships are autonomous—so it is up to them to decide how they use the money across the vast range of requirements they have to meet; a decision that should be made on the basis of an understanding of local needs etc and which is reflected in their plans which are monitored via Govt Offices.

Children's Fund

  The Children's Fund was introduced in November 2000 in response to the Social Exclusion Unit's Policy Action Team report on Young People, which highlighted the need for improved preventive services. Before the Children, Young People and Families Directorate was established in 2003, Children's Fund was the responsibility of the now defunct Children and Young People's Unit, a cross-government unit with its lead based in the Home Office.

  The 2002 Spending Review (SR2002) allocated £450 million to the Children's Fund over the 3-year period. Funding difficulties arose during 2003-04 due to underspends incurred by partnerships taking time to get up to full speed. Following a mid-year review, Children's Fund partnerships and local projects were informed of revised allocations at the end of 2003. For 2004-05, Ministers identified new resources from outside the Children's Fund, which meant that the total budget for that year was £160 million.

  Children's Fund partnerships have now been allocated £411.5 million over the three years 2005-06 and 2007-08. By the end of the Spending Review period, partnerships will have received over £770 million in the years 2003-08, which equates to an average of £154 million each year.

Youth Service

  The Youth and Community Sub Block of the Education Formula Spend (EFS) provides potential resource to local authorities to spend on youth and community services.

  The Government has asked Local Authorities to give priority to their Youth Service when planning the use of their EFS resource. Ministers want Local Authorities to develop their Youth Services and improve the quality and quantity of their work.

  Actual Youth Service budgets and the level, location and type of provision that an authority makes is for it to decide, taking into account local priorities and available resources.

    —  Local Authorities budget for local Youth Services:

    —  Local Authorities have allocated £363 million to their Youth Services for 2004-05.

    —  In 2003-04 local authorities allocated £343 million to Youth Services.

    —  In 2002-03 local authorities allocated £316 million to Youth Services.

    —  In 2001-02 local authorities allocated £307 million to Youth Services.

  Children, Young People and Families Directorate (CYPFD) based within Department for Education and Skills (DfES) is responsible for developing the Children's Fund, Connexions and Youth Services.


  The first Connexions Partnership began operating in 2001, however Connexions was phased in gradually and did not have national coverage until April 2003.

  Therefore ascertaining precise levels of funding is complex as Connexions brought together a number of services for young people. However a significant element of funding in this area before Connexions was established belonged to Careers Services.

  The Connexions Service budget for 2004-05 is £460 million.

  In 2003-04, Connexions funding was in excess of £450 million.

  In 2002-03, £430 million.

  In 2001-02, the combined Careers Service/Connexions Service budget was £320 million.

Children's Fund

  The Children's Fund was introduced in November 2000 in response to the Social Exclusion Unit's Policy Action Team report on Young People, which highlighted the need for improved preventive services. Before the Children, Young People and Families Directorate was established in 2003, Children's Fund was the responsibility of the now defunct Children and Young People's Unit, a cross-government unit with its lead based in the Home Office.

  The 2002 Spending Review (SR2002) allocated £450 million to the Children's Fund over the three year period. Funding difficulties arose during 2003-04 due to underspends incurred by partnerships taking time to get up to full speed. Following a mid-year review, Children's Fund partnerships and local projects were informed of revised allocations at the end of 2003. For 2004-05, Ministers identified new resources from outside the Children's Fund, which meant that the total budget for that year was £160 million.

  Children's Fund partnerships have now been allocated £411.5 million over the 3 years 2005-06 and 2007-08. By the end of the Spending Review period, partnerships will have received over £770 million in the years 2003-08, which equates to an average of £154 million each year.

Youth Service

  Local Authorities budget for local Youth Services:

  Local Authorities have allocated £363 million to their Youth Services for 2004-05.

  In 2003-04 local authorities allocated £343 million to Youth Services.

  In 2002-03 local authorities allocated £316 million to Youth Services.

  In 2001-02 local authorities allocated £307 million to Youth Services.

7 February 2005

Annex B

Detention and Training Order [consecutive] 45
Detention and Training Order [concurrent] 26
Immediate custody sub-total71
Community Punishment Order (within CPRO) 3
Community Punishment Order (not within   CPRO) 4
Curfew Order with electronic monitoring 3
Curfew Order without electronic monitoring 6
Attendance Centre Order15
Reparation Order4
Action Plan Order8
Supervision Order with requirement to comply 3
Supervision Order with other or no   requirements 16
Community Rehabilitation Order2
Referral Order3
Community sentence sub-total67
Conditional Discharge4
Bindover on conviction1
Absolute Discharge3
Parenting Order given in a criminal court 2
Not separately dealt with4
other disposals sub-total28
Home Office M&SDC 263b-04

6   6 As measured by MORI in "The State of Play", September 2004, available at Back

7   7 As measured by the Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), available at Back

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