Anti-social behavior – what would you do?

Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner has been tasked by the national government to consult with the people regarding community remedies (see below).  You can add your views in this survey.  The survey is not very rigorous and I found the first question hard to answer properly but at least one can make further points in the comments box.

A community remedy document is to be produced with the opinions of the people of Surrey in mind. This document will be a list of options, chosen by the public, which will be available to victims of low-level crime and anti-social behaviour. One of the priorities is to put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system, and this aims to do that. Victims should see see justice more quickly, and offenders will face immediate and meaningful consequences for their actions.

Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Section 101 of this act stipulates the following:

Each local policing body must prepare a community remedy document for its area, and may revise it at any time.

(2) A community remedy document is a list of actions any of which might, in the opinion of the local policing body, be appropriate in a particular case to be carried out by a person who—

(a) has engaged in anti-social behaviour or has committed an offence, and
(b) is to be dealt with for that behaviour or offence without court proceedings.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), an action is appropriate to be carried out by a person only if it has one or more of the following objects—

(a) assisting in the person’s rehabilitation;
(b) ensuring that the person makes reparation for the behaviour or offence in question;(c) punishing the person.

(4) In preparing or revising the community remedy document for its area a local policing body must—

(a) have regard to the need to promote public confidence in the out-of-court disposal process;
(b) have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State about how local policing bodies are to discharge their functions under this section;
(c) carry out the necessary consultation and take account of all views expressed by those consulted.

Surrey Allowance Increases

money-43Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Surrey Liberal Democrats wrote to the Secretary of State asking him to investigate the excessive increases (from £27,000 pa to £43,000 pa) in councillor allowances and the excessive number of special responsibility allowances pushed through by Surrey’s Conservative administration. She also asked him to check whether the national government’s own regulations had been followed by the Surrey administration.

Cllr Watson said : “I am delighted with the response I have received from Brandon Lewis, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State to my letter. He has condemned the decisions on councillors allowances as “deeply concerning” and agrees with me that Surrey did not comply with government regulations. He has stated that the national government expects those in public life to show restraint and to set levels of allowances for councillors and remuneration for officers which reflect the pressure on budgets and the need to pay off the deficit left by the last national administration. I totally agree with his comments.

“Given the national government’s clear condemnation of the decisions and also the outrage expressed by the Surrey people who have to foot the bill, I am again calling on Surrey’s Conservative administration to overturn their decisions on councillors allowances and replace them with something much more reasonable.

“Surrey’s Conservative administration is living in cloud cuckoo land if they think that they can get away with these outrageous councillor allowances. It is time for them to back down and admit they made a massive mistake to the detriment of the Surrey people.”

To read the letters to and from the national ministers click here.

Euro Results

Now that the Euro election results are in we can see the full picture.  For any new law to be passed in Europe it has to gain a majority of the votes in the upper house and a majority of votes in the lower house. In the upper house that means it has to have the support of at least two of the People’s Party, the Labour Party or the Liberal Democrats.  If the Conservative Party, the Green Party and UKIP all voted together they would get less than 10% support.

Euro UH 2014-02

The upper house is not directly elected – not yet anyway.  Members of the upper house are appointed by the the member governments.  Most governments in Europe are either run by the People’s Party or by the socialist parties (Labour).  The Liberal Democrats are the lead party in two member states and are in coalition with the Conservatives in Britain.  The Conservative Party only governs in Britain as the senior coalition partner. The Green party is a junior coalition partner in a number of member states.

The lower house of the European legislature (confusingly called the Parliament) is directly elected and the recent elections have shown gains by the Eurosceptic parties at the expense of the broad range of traditional parties.  However, although significant, these gains are not sufficient to change the law making process through Europe.

Euro LH 2014-02

 

 

To pass a law in the lower house only the support of the People’s Party and the socialist parties (Labour) is required.

So despite the press coverage in Britain highlighting the landslide gains for UKIP.  The full results show that UKIP’s success in Britain does not translate into any change of power at all.

The Eurosceptic’s success in the Euro-elections have mainly affected two important member states – France and Britain.  The National Front’s gains in France and UKIP’s gain in Britain mean that Britain’s and France’s place in Europe cannot be guaranteed.  A Europe without Britain is conceivable.  A Europe without France would be an interesting development.  A Europe without Britain or France would probably change beyond all recognition.

As France’ economy is still in deep trouble the National Front will probably continue to make gains.  However a lot can happen to Britain’s economy before the national elections in 2015.