Calls to make tackling anti-social behaviour and rubbish easier
Anti-social behaviour victims should not have to complain to authorities more than five times to guarantee a response, a group of influential MPs have said.
The measure would act as a backstop to Government plans for a "community trigger" – a new tool giving victims the right to demand that agencies take action.
Such a move would help stop cases such as the deaths of Fiona Pilkington and her disabled daughter from happening again, the Home Affairs Select Committee said.
In its review of the Government's draft anti-social behaviour bill, the Committee said agencies should be named and held to account when they fail to act.
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Labour called the effectiveness of the community trigger into doubt after releasing figures on the scheme's pilot.
Committee chairman Keith Vaz said the cases of Ms Pilkington and Dr Suzanne Dow, who took their own lives after months of torment from locals, were "a wake-up call".
He said: "Anti-social behaviour is not something trivial that can be ignored – it can crush lives and breed criminality in our communities.
"The community trigger is meant to be the last line of defence to protect the public from anti-social behaviour. No-one should have to complain more than five times before they see action."
Some 2.4 million incidents of anti-social behaviour were recorded by the police in England and Wales for the year to September.
Home Secretary Theresa May also plans tougher measures against anti-social neighbours who pile bags of rubbish outside their houses.
Householders who regularly dump rubbish in their own garden or driveway will be guilty of a criminal offence, hit with fines of up to £2,500 and could face further punishments.
Ministers want to prevent irresponsible homeowners or tenants from blighting whole streets or neighbourhoods by turning their front gardens into a 'dumping ground'.