"21st century alternative to clip around the ear" to tackle anti-social behaviour

Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling was in Poling on Thursday afternoon (2 July) to speak to local members of the Conservative Party.

During his speech to Arundel and South Downs Conservatives, Mr Grayling promised that as Home Secretary he would work hard to tackle the problem of anti-social behaviour.

The MP said that most young people were decent, law-abiding citizens - but that it was necessary to deal with the minority who are not.

Mr Grayling, who is the MP for Epsom and Ewell in Surrey, said that the Government had failed to tackle the problem.  The Conservatives would make the criminal justice system more responsive and accountable to local communities, get police officers back out onto the streets by cutting paperwork, and deal with a licensing system that has failed to create the "continental cafe culture" promised by ministers.

Mr Grayling compared the need to deal with anti-social behaviour in the UK with the ‘broken windows' strategy in New York saying that, to tackle serious crime in our communities, we first needed to deal with low level crime effectively.  Mr Grayling added that too many young troublemakers were ignored, given a caution and allowed to go on to commit more serious offences.

He proposed "a 21st century alternative to what would once have been a clip around the ear from the local bobby", where the police could "ground" troublesome teenagers.

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert, who drew up many of the Conservatives' police reform proposals, said that local people would welcome Mr Grayling's plain speaking.  "Even in our relatively peaceful West Sussex villages, anti-social behaviour can be a problem.  We all want to see police officers released from red tape and back out on the beat, equipped with the right powers to nip problems in the bud."

The Annual Lunch event was attended by around 100 Party Members and introduced by Association Chairman Malcolm Gill.



Notes for Editors

1. For the website of the Arundel and South Downs Conservatives, visit http://www.southdownsconservatives.com/.

2. For more information on Conservative policies on crime and justice, visit http://www.conservatives.com/Policy/Where_we_stand/Crime.aspx.

3. The photograph shows Chris Grayling speaking at the event.

Christopher N Howarth