Government plans for a new "community trigger" to compel police to investigate repeat complaints of anti-social behaviour have received a mixed reaction.
Announcing the plans, Home Secretary Theresa May on Tuesday said she wanted to stop repeat victims suffering unnoticed by giving communities and residents the power to make the police take action.
Under the proposals forces will be required to investigate any incident reported by at least five people, or any three separate complaints by the same person.
Speaking after meeting residents in Hulme, Manchester, Ms May said: "I want to see the police dealing with anti-social behaviour when it happens and when people are reporting it."
The new powers will be trialled in three areas - Manchester, Brighton and Hove and West Lindsey, Lincolnshire.
The move comes as the government scraps Labour's controversial anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos).
Six powers are planned including a new Criminal Behaviour Order and civil Crime Prevention Injunctions (CPI) giving agencies an immediate power to stop bad behaviour before it escalates.
The lower standard of proof for civil orders such as the CPI means they can be put in place in days or even hours, the government claims.
Responding to the announcement, chairman of Brighton and Hove's community safety forum Ben Duncan said: "The community trigger is an interesting proposal and worth examining in a practical environment as it could further increase our accountability to the community and help find new solutions to what are difficult problems."
Chief Inspector Bruce Mathews, head of the Brighton and Hove Safe in the City Delivery Unit, said: "Agencies and communities working together to tackle and reduce the harm caused by anti-social behaviour and hate-motivated incidents have an excellent track record of success in the city.
"We are keen to build further on these successes by being involved in piloting the community trigger here in Brighton and Hove."
But shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the new measures are a "weaker rebrand, making it harder for the police, councils and housing associations to take tough enforcement action when people's lives are made a misery by anti-social bullies or nuisance neighbours."
"It should not take three separate complaints, or five different households complaining, before getting a response," she said.
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