30/01/2012 01:20 GMT | Updated 30/01/2012 03:43 GMT

Anti-Social Behaviour: Home Secretary Theresa May To Pilot Community Safety Partnerships

Theresa May is set to outline plans to give communities tougher protection from anti-social behaviour on Monday.

The home secretary will announce pilot schemes, set to go ahead in the summer, which will mean authorities will have to take action if five people in different homes across an area complain.

Community Safety Partnerships, made up of police and councils, will be able to reject any complaints they believe are malicious.

May wants to put an end to the "horror stories" of victims being ignored despite making repeated complaints to the authorities about problem neighbours.

During a speech on police reform May will say work has begun with local authorities on the "community trigger" scheme the government announced last year.

May will say: "It's too easy to overlook the harm that persistent anti-social behaviour causes. Many police forces, councils and housing providers are working hard, but I still hear horror stories of victims reporting the same problem over and over again, and getting no response.

"These long-running problems - and the sense of helplessness that goes with them - can destroy a victim's quality of life and shatter a community's trust in the police.

"That's why we proposed a 'community trigger' as part of our reforms to anti-social behaviour laws. The trigger will give victims and communities the right to demand that agencies who had ignored a problem must take action.

"So we are now working with a number of local authorities to test the 'community trigger' on the ground, and pilots will begin by the summer."

But shadow home office minister Gloria DePiero said the announcement was "belated and weak": "After two years of doing nothing to tackle anti-social behaviour, the home secretary has to do better than a few pilots that won't start until the summer, and which seem to suggest that anti-social behaviour should not be taken seriously if only two or three people complain..

"The home secretary has no serious plan to help cut crime or anti-social behaviour. She is only cutting police officers instead."