Mersyside PCC fears bill changes will hinder dealing with problem tenants

St Helens Star: Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy

CHANGES to the law relating to anti social behaviour and policing could have an adverse effect on those affected by nuisance neighbours.

Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy has expressed serious concerns about proposals that would make it harder for landlords to deal with problem tenants.

Proposed changes to the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill could have a devastating impact she indicated after meeting representatives of housing associations and social landlords across the region.

Acting on their warnings the Commissioner has now written to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, urging her to resist the amendments and has encouraged Police Commissioners nationwide to support her stance.

She said: "These changes could make it extremely difficult for social landlords to take action against those tenants who heap misery and suffering on their neighbours.

"This would have a huge impact on victims, particularly vulnerable people who may be living every day in fear of their neighbours.

"I am urging the Home Secretary to resist these changes and ensure the Bill remains in its current form so that landlords can continue to tackle those who are blighting communities with their anti-social, dangerous and illegal activities."

The amendments proposed in Clause 1 of the Bill would see the threshold for obtaining an injunction against an anti-social tenant increased from "nuisance and annoyance" to causing "harassment, alarm or distress". The burden of proof would also be raised from "on the balance of probabilities" to "beyond reasonable doubt".

She feared a higher standard of proof would mean more victims suffered for longer.

Comments (1)

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10:25am Wed 8 Jan 14

jumperr says...

I would hope that our MPS follow the commissioner and write not only to the Home Secretary but also the lib dems and party members in the lords to allow the passage of the Bill as it is
I would hope that our MPS follow the commissioner and write not only to the Home Secretary but also the lib dems and party members in the lords to allow the passage of the Bill as it is jumperr
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