Home Secretary Theresa May has issued a “call to action” for community activists to tackle neighbourhood problems alongside frontline services.
Baroness Newlove will promote “the active part people can play, alongside the frontline, in tackling the problems that matter most in their neighbourhoods”, Mrs May said.
The widow of murdered father-of-three Garry Newlove has a new role as the Government’s champion for active, safer communities.
The move follows Monday’s announcement that police budget cuts mean the Greater Manchester force will shrink by almost a quarter as it sheds nearly 3,000 posts over the next four years, including the loss of more than 300 officers by 2012.
Mrs May has said the Government’s approach to tackling anti-social behaviour must be turned on its head, with strong community action being used to bring back a sense of personal and social responsibility and to make anti-social behaviour “unusual, abnormal and something to stand up to”.
“Antisocial behaviour ruins lives and scars communities – for too long it has been sidelined and communities have been let down,” Mrs May said.
“Baroness Newlove will be championing the active part people can play, alongside the frontline, in tackling the problems that matter most in their neighbourhoods.”
Lady Newlove, who was made a Tory peer earlier this year, has been a forceful campaigner against anti-social behaviour since her husband’s death following an attack by a gang of teenagers who were vandalising his car in August 2007.
She will visit projects across the UK to meet people who have helped make a difference in their area in a bid to find out “what works and what the barriers are to successful community activism”, the Home Office said.
She will also use a new blog to share her experiences, highlight areas of innovation and challenges before reporting back to ministers next year.