Putting victims first? : a critique of Coalition anti-social behaviour policy
- Publisher: SAGE Publications
Anti-social behaviour (ASB) policy was not pursued by the Conservative–Liberal Democrat Coalition government with the same vigour as their New Labour predecessors. Where developments did take place a clear shift in emphasis was apparent, with the needs of ASB victims elevated to the forefront of policy. This article critically appraises two major developments that showcase the Coalition government’s attempts to overhaul ASB policy to ‘put victims first’, namely: the changes to call handling and case management processes, and the Community Trigger, which forces the authorities to review their responses to complaints of ASB in circumstances where victims feel they have been ignored. These particular policies aim to prioritise victims’ needs; however, it is argued the new victim-focus: is diluted by competing Coalition ASB agendas, demonstrates little connection between rhetoric and reality, provides limited redress for all victims and fails to coalesce with established attempts to tackle perpetrators of ASB.