THE former victims’ commissioner for England and Wales, Baroness Newlove is to continue her fight against antisocial behaviour as the patron of a national community safety organisation.
The peer, a deputy speaker in the House of Lords, has been appointed as patron of Resolve; a role that will see her help to raise awareness of antisocial behaviour issues and push for government action to protect victims and communities.
“Sadly, the victims’ stories I have heard have truly resonated with me, especially when agencies describe ASB as a ‘low level’ crime. It is in fact a ‘high’ level impacted crime. A silent killer. A living nightmare,” said Lady Newlove.
“We need to protect our communities and agencies need to realise the true impact it puts on people’s lives on a daily basis. Therefore, I am committed to doing all I can to help Resolve continue to grow and influence that change. As a victim of antisocial behaviour myself, Resolve’s work is particularly close to my heart.
“The rise of ASB in the UK needs to be addressed as soon as possible. It has never gone away, and it is only fitting that I am here to help speed that process up. I am naturally delighted to be joining Resolve. I am very much looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting stuck in.”
Lady Newlove’s rise to prominence in efforts to tackle antisocial behaviour was triggered by the worst of circumstances – the brutal murder of her husband, Garry, in 2007, by a gang of drugged and drunken youths.
He was kicked to death outside the family home in Warrington, Cheshire, after confronting the youths. The savage attack was witnessed by the couple’s three young daughters. His death inspired Lady Newlove to dedicate her life to fighting antisocial behaviour.
She has since become a prominent campaigner, calling for tougher sentences for serious offences and improved support for victims.
“There is not a day goes by when I don’t think about Garry,” she said. “What happened to our family that night, I would never want that to happen again. Most of my mailbag was flooded with issues of ASB, such as nuisance neighbours, damage to vehicles.
“It never should have happened. Yet, 12 years on, the fight against ASB is far from over. Victims need more support and involved agencies must do more to reverse this worrying trend.”
Launched in 1995, Resolve has played a key role in shaping UK policy on national antisocial behaviour and community safety policy.
“We are delighted to welcome Lady Newlove to our team,” said Rebecca Bryant OBE, Resolve’s chief executive. “Her wealth of knowledge, understanding and experience will be a huge asset to us. And her political influence will play a crucial role in our mission to tackle ASB and improve community safety.”
The annual Crime Survey for England and Wales estimated more than a third (37%) of adults experienced or witnessed antisocial behaviour in their community last year – its highest level for six years.
Knife crime, meanwhile, rose to its highest level since records began in 2017-18.
In April, Lady Newlove published her final report as Victims’ Commissioner.
Anti-Social Behaviour: Living a Nightmare found more must be done to support victims of antisocial behaviour, which includes knife crime, sexual exploitation, county lines crime and domestic violence.
She added: “My final report resonated with lots of people and communities up and down the country. There is still a lot of work to be done. We are now seeing shocking levels of antisocial behaviour and the devastation it can cause.
“We need drastic and rapid action if we are to reverse this worrying trend. We must improve support for victims, ensure greater collaboration between local authorities, emergency services and other agencies, and intervene at this earliest possible stage.”