Residents in South Yorkshire have been given new powers to demand that persistent anti-social behaviour in their communities is tackled.
The ‘Community Trigger’ is to be rolled out nationally next month but has been introduced locally this week in a bid to help hold South Yorkshire agencies to account.
It gives members of the public the ability to ask organisations including the police, fire service, councils and housing providers to review how they have responded to regular complaints of anti-social behaviour.
The hope is that the new legislation will reduce the risk of issues slipping through the net and offenders going unchecked.
Superintendent Colin McFarlane, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “As the force lead for anti-social behaviour, I believe that the introduction of the Community Trigger is a great step forward in giving the public the tools and the methods to hold the police and other agencies to account.
“The force will support this initiative fully and use the valuable feedback that we get to improve the service that we offer around anti-social behaviour.”
The Community Trigger does not replace ordinary complaints procedures already operated by agencies, but is expected to be used by people dissatisfied with the way issues they have raised have been dealt with in their communities.
Residents can use the legislation when they have made three separate complaints of anti-social behaviour to an agency in a six month period.
It can also be used when members of five different households in a community have separately reported the same anti-social issue within a six-month period.
Members of the public who wish to use the Community Trigger legislation should contact their own local authorities, South Yorkshire Police or South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.
The police can be contacted by phone on 101, by visiting a public enquiry desk or writing to the force’s Chief Inspectors at Sheffield Rotherham, Barnsley or Doncaster.
The Community Trigger legislation, which forms part of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, has been successfully trialled in two parts of Lincolnshire, Manchester, Brighton and Hove and Richmond-upon-Thames.