How ASB victims are being failed 

Baroness Helen Newlove is the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales. Baroness Newlove’s husband Garry was murdered by a group of youths after having gone outside to confront them vandalising his wife’s car. The murder was the culmination of numerous incidents of ASB by youth gangs which had started several years earlier.


Baroness Newlove said the government must act to give victims of persistent anti-social behaviour the “help and support they deserve”. “I know only too well victims of persistent ASB can suffer high levels of harm. The cumulative impact of the behaviour can devastate victims’ lives, affecting their sleep, work, relationships, health and feelings of safety in their own home”.

Baroness Helen Newlove

“Yet all too often, when they reach out for help and support, it is not forthcoming. This is because police and other agencies, such as housing authorities, treat ASB incidences in isolation and fail to recognise the level of distress and harm caused”.

“Victims tell me police prefer to treat ASB as a misdemeanour even though the criminal threshold has been met. This means they are ineligible for victim support services to help them cope and recover. Either they have to suffer in silence or move home”.

“No victim of persistent ASB should be left to suffer alone and the government must act to make sure they are given the help and support they deserve.”

“The feedback from victims is that, all too often, they feel they are being persistently targeted by their perpetrators, and yet ignored by those with the power to prevent and intervene. For many victims, their experience can be like living a nightmare”.