The Government’s former Respect tsar is to unveil more than 50 “pioneer” areas that will receive government cash to try to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour, it emerged this week.

The 53 council areas to receive pioneer status will be announced shortly by Louise Casey, who is heading a new unit in the Home Office called the Neighbourhood Crime and Justice (NCJ) group.

The main criteria used to select the areas were deprivation scores and the percentage of residents citing crime as a top concern, according to NCJ group delivery manager Sue Strickland, who was speaking this week at an antisocial behaviour conference in Telford.

Strickland also told delegates that a new brand would be developed, in the same vein as the “Respect” initiative, to promote the crime-fighting activities of the pioneer areas.