It can take just one person to make life a misery for everyone else. The actions of one individual can blight a community, make people feel frightened to leave their home and can destroy quality of life for local residents.
Nationally, we have seen tragic cases where people have taken their own lives because they couldn’t carry on suffering abuse any longer.
I believe that progress has been made in tackling anti-social behaviour and Labour made it a big priority.
It is taken more seriously than it often was in the past and tragic cases have led to greater action.
It’s also clear from speaking to local police officers that they try and stop problems getting worse at an early stage.
They also work more effectively with the council, social landlords and other agencies.
However, I know for victims it doesn’t always feel that way especially when you’re living next door to someone whose behaviour is causing you distress and action can sometimes appear slow.
The Conservative-led government has proposed changes to the law on how we tackle anti-social behaviour.
As a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, we will be considering the government’s plans and giving our view on what needs to happen.
I’m keen to hear the views of local people who have suffered anti-social behaviour so that our report considers its effects on victims.
To read more about the government’s plans and tell me what you think, visit the website I’ve set up for this:
This article was original published by the Sunderland Echo on 23rd January 2013