More support for troubled families

Families who cause a nuisance and inflict misery on their
neighbours will be given intensive support in a bid to rehabilitate
them, the government has announced.

Fifty designated “Together” antisocial behaviour action areas will
share £1.25m to spend on intensive support for families who
cause problems through their antisocial behaviour.

Ten trailblazer areas already offer support programmes, including
the development of family behaviour contracts, where those who fail
to comply face reduced tenancy rights and compulsory parenting

A Home Office review of 100 of the most difficult nuisance
neighbour cases found that half involved threatening and
intimidating behaviour. Mental health problems affected 29% of
families, while drugs caused problems for 27%. But 39% of families
and individuals said their behaviour had improved following a
warning, an Asbo, acceptable behaviour contract or threat of

George McNamara, NCH policy adviser, said: “We are pleased that the
government is taking a more rounded approach to tackling antisocial
behaviour – looking at the causes rather than just using
enforcement measures, which it has predominantly

“But the investment of £1.25m is very small in terms of the
impact that is required.”

Honor Rhodes, FWA director of services, and a member of the Home
Office’s nuisance neighbour expert panel, said: “It is a very
robust group, and we take a very systematic approach, producing
consequences for every action… saying this is the line and if you
cross it these are the consequences – for your own family and the
wider community. My voice is to remind people that positive
reinforcement is actually more effective than negative.”

Local authorities should consider using the government money on
staff training, said Rhodes.

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