A new community trigger to force police to investigate any incident of anti-social behaviour reported by at least five people will do little to tackle the problem in the long-term, campaigners have said.
Theresa May's plans to replace anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos) will just repeat the old failings, creating a back door to custody for people who have not committed a criminal offence, more than 60 organisations in the Criminal Justice Alliance said.
The measures, which are to be published in a white paper, aim to put an end to the horror stories of victims being ignored despite making repeated complaints to the authorities about problem neighbours.
It follows high-profile cases such as that of Fiona Pilkington, who killed herself and her disabled daughter Francecca Hardwick, 18, in 2007 following 10 years of sustained abuse.
As the Home Secretary ends Labour's Asbos which have been described as a badge of honour among anti-social youths by critics, Mrs May will bring in streamlined measures designed to ensure police take incidents of low-level nuisance seriously.
Police will have to take action to tackle nuisance behaviour if five people in different homes across the same neighbourhood complain, or if one person complains on three separate occasions, under a new "community trigger" power. It is expected to be introduced in three pilot schemes in Manchester, Brighton and Hove and West Lindsey, Lincolnshire.
Asbos and 18 other measures are also expected to be replaced with a streamlined system of six measures that target people, places and police powers, including a new Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) and civil Crime Prevention Injunctions.
But Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, director of the Criminal Justice Alliance, warned that enforcement powers alone will not be enough to prevent anti-social behaviour.
"There is a risk that if these new measures are not accompanied by necessary support in communities - youth clubs, family support and health services - they will do little in the long term to tackle this important issue," she said. "There is a real risk that these new orders will result in more and more people being sent to prison for breaching their order when the original offence would not have warranted custody."
A Home Office spokesman said: "What clearly hasn't worked is the existing system, with thousands of people's lives still blighted by anti-social behaviour and many not reporting it because they have little faith it will be taken seriously. We are overhauling the whole system to put the focus on the impact of victims and neighbourhoods and ensure people can hold the police and local agencies to account."