The widow of a man murdered following a campaign of anti-social behaviour is pleading with Lancashire victims to share their experiences.

The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, Baroness Helen Newlove, whose husband Garry was murdered in 2007, launched a survey to gain insight into people's experiences of anti-social behaviour.

This comes as victims’ legislation is currently progressing through Parliament.

The survey focuses on the nature of anti-social behaviour; victims’ experiences of reporting; the support victims receive; and victims’ experiences of the anti-social behaviour case review process.

Drawing on her personal experiences as a victim of anti-social behaviour, Baroness Newlove believes that people experiencing persistent antisocial behaviour are not getting the support and rights they deserve, including lacking formal recognition and access to victim support services.

Baroness Newlove, tragically lost her husband Garry following a long-running campaign of youth violence and anti-social behaviour.

Garry was murdered by a gang of youths outside their home in Warrington in 2007.

He died aged 47, two days after being brutally attacked by a gang of teenagers outside his family home on Station Road North in Fearnhead.

Since her husband's murder, Baroness Newlove has been a prominent campaigning voice advocating for change ever since and took up a seat in the House of Lords in 2010.

She is now pushing for support for victims in an amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill, currently in its final stages in the House of Lords.

The survey will feed into ongoing policy work in this area, including proposed amendments to the upcoming Criminal Justice Bill, which includes a range of provisions for tackling anti-social behaviour.

Anti-social behaviour encompasses acts that are deliberately intended to disrupt the peace and safety of others, often in their own homes or communities.

This can range from disorder and nuisance, such as loud music and graffiti, to acts of harassment and intimidation, including verbal abuse and threats.

During her first two terms as Victims’ Commissioner (2013-2019), Baroness Newlove argued that victims of anti-social behaviour were being let down by police, local councils and housing providers, with many victims having to suffer in silence.

In 2019 she published her report Living A Nightmare which set out a number of proposed changes which would give victims a voice and access to support.

The findings of this survey will build on this work and feed into a new report due to be published later this year.

This report will be used to inform the Victims’ Commissioner’s ongoing policy work, aiming to give greater recognition to issues raised by victims of anti-social behaviour.

Discussing the survey, Baroness Newlove, said: “As I know only too well, experiencing persistent anti-social behaviour can be like a living nightmare. The cumulative impact of the behaviour can devastate victims’ lives, affecting their sleep, work, relationships, health, and feelings of safety in their own home.

“As Victims’ Commissioner, one of my priorities is ensuring victims of anti-social behaviour feel heard, respected and supported when they come forward.

2This is why it’s so important to hear directly from victims, so that their experiences can inform the legislation and policy changes I put forward and they address the challenges these victims face.”

The survey closes on Wednesday 3 April and is available on the Victims’ Commissioner’s website here