Sep 29 2009
Gordon Brown will promise tough action on problem families who terrorise their neighbours as he delivers his final conference speech before the general election.
With Labour plumbing new depths in the polls, Mr Brown will put crime and anti-social behaviour centre stage in the hope of clawing back ground from the Conservatives.
Mr Brown will promise to stand by “the lawful majority”, who he will say are right to be getting “ever more angry” at the behaviour of a minority who disrupt their communities with drink and drug-fuelled disorder and children running out of control.
His pledge comes the day after an inquest jury criticised police for failing to help mother Fiona Pilkington, 38, and her daughter Francecca Hardwick, 18, who burned to death in a car after complaining of years of harassment by youths in their Leicestershire home.
In his keynote speech to a Brighton conference under the banner “Operation Fightback”, the Prime Minister will announce £36 million of additional funding to roll out “tough love” Family Intervention Projects (FIPs) to all 50,000 of the country’s most difficult families over the coming five years.
Any parent of a child issued with an Asbo will automatically be subject to a parenting order requiring them to go through intensive courses.
FIPs, which have been piloted in areas including Dundee, deliver what the Government terms “intensive, one-on-one, hard-edged support” for families where drugs, drink, bad parenting and persistent joblessness are a problem.
Mr Brown will tell delegates: “Whenever and wherever there is anti-social behaviour, we will be there to fight it. We will not stand by and see the lives of the lawful majority disrupted by the behaviour of the lawless minority.
“Because the decent, hard-working majority are getting ever more angry – rightly so – with the minority who will talk about their rights but never accept their responsibilities.”
The last four years have seen FIPs extended to cover up to 5,000 families a year. Mr Brown will say he wants to see a “step change” so that all of those needing it – estimated to be 50,000 families with 100,000 children across the country – will go through a project by the end of the next Parliament.