HC Deb 05 May 2004 vol 420 c1328
6. Mr. Huw Edwards (Monmouth) (Lab)

If he will meet the First Minister to discuss strategies to combat antisocial behaviour in Monmouthshire. [169187]

The Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Peter Hain)

I will certainly do so when I next meet the First Minister. The Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 provides a wide range of tools to tackle antisocial behaviour and the Government are determined that people should be able to live their lives free from intimidation and harassment.

Mr. Edwards

Despite the fall in crime overall, antisocial behaviour and vandalism remain a scourge in many Welsh communities, most recently in Llanelly hill and Clydach in my constituency—matters that I raised with the new chief constable of Gwent when I met him on Friday. Given the additional measures that the Government have introduced, can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that if communities report all incidents of vandalism, the police will investigate them and the perpetrators will be brought to justice?

Mr. Hain

I certainly want to see that happen, and I am pleased that the new chief constable of Gwent joined my hon. Friend in examining the problem in his constituency. Antisocial behaviour still plagues too many of our communities across both Wales and England, which is why the recruitment of 120 new community support officers and 760 new police officers is so important. The signing of 77 antisocial behaviour orders in Wales is also encouraging, but I want more ASBOs to be implemented. Police forces and local authorities are not doing enough to stamp the problem out—the powers are there; they must be used.