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As a Liberal, I believe that individuals should be free to do as they wish unless it harms others. But where it harms others, it must be policed.

It is the duty of the police to ensure that communities can live together harmoniously. But there is a very difficult balance to be struck here as different groups in our society have different ideas as to what is acceptable behaviour.

To break the vicious cycle of anti-social incidents and to improve neighbourhoods, it is crucial to restore people's faith in the authorities and reduce their fear of retaliation. Community champions work well to reduce an atmosphere of mistrust and fear and can improve everyone's wellbeing and safety. The world-renowned Joseph Rowntree Foundation highlighted this in their 2005 report.

The police can help in this if they do not take sides - for example by not working solely on behalf of older people against younger people - and can act as mediators as well as enforcers in anti-social incidents.

LD Police 4

Civil Injunctions don't work.

To tackle 'ASBO Culture', we must look to local solutions which have been proven to actually make a difference.

LD Knife crime - ASB

Community Protection Notices or Criminal Behaviour Orders (which used to be known as ASBOs), are 'sticking plaster' measures that simply brush the problem under the carpet without actually dealing with the underlying issues. We must address the causes of anti-social behaviour head-on.

First, in cases of clear anti-social behaviour, the Police must be supported in enforcing the Law and protecting local residents from flagrant Anti-social behaviour (known as ASB).

But this must go hand-in-glove with more effective measures that have been proven to deal with the root causes of ASB and help head it off at the pass.

So I plan to team up with 'Neighbourhood Champions' - strong role-models who are working closely with the young and most disaffected in our neighbourhoods - to support the work they are doing in addressing the deep, underlying causes of their disaffection and finding ways of diverting it away from ASB.

This is of course a long-term solution, which cannot be imposed from the top down. We must work with representatives who already have the trust of their local communities and help them slowly turn things around.

In the words of the Rowntree Report:

We must "recognise the need to be not only tough on ASB but tough on the causes of ASB."