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Task force steps up fight against antisocial behaviour

Bestwood Walkabout. Ch Insp Chris Pearson and PCC Caroline Henry.

Chief Inspector Chris Pearson with Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry.

A new task force has been launched to step up the fight against antisocial behaviour and improve the quality of life for people across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Partners are joining forces to work more efficiently and effectively in tackling issues including street drinking and drug use, aggressive begging, kerb crawling, noise nuisance, harassment, graffiti, vandalism and littering.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is spearheading the task force to lead collaboration between Nottinghamshire Police and each of the city, district and borough councils.

The aim is to ensure antisocial behaviour is considered strategically across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, that issues are properly prioritised based on their impact and that responses are evidence-led and informed by “what works.”

There will also be a focus in prevention, early intervention and identifying the drivers of antisocial behaviour as well as a commitment to partnership working, information sharing and ensuring that agencies have a clear understanding of their respective roles and responsibilities.

Partners will also ensure residents have easy access to information about what constitutes antisocial behaviour and how to report it.

A total of 30.2% of respondents to the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime survey said they had experienced antisocial behaviour in the 12 months to March 2023. This was up from 27.9% during the pre-Covid baseline year of 2019-20.

Antisocial behaviour is any conduct that causes harassment, alarm or distress or could cause nuisance or annoyance.

Speaking at the start of Antisocial Behaviour Awareness Week, Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “Antisocial behaviour is one of the issues that I get asked about most because it can have a huge impact on people’s quality of life and lead to a great deal of frustration.

“The new Antisocial Behaviour Task Force aims to ensure that we respond swiftly, visibly and effectively to reports and ensure victims are given the support they need.

“No one should have to suffer in silence from the impact of antisocial behaviour. Help is available from a range of partners.

“All of the agencies involved in the task force are absolutely committed to tackling this issue and I would urge people to report antisocial behaviour whenever they need help.

“Every time people report an issue it helps build up a clearer picture of the types of issues affecting local communities and where incidents are concentrated. This helps to ensure that resources can be targeted in the most efficient and effective way to support residents in making their neighbourhood safer and more enjoyable places to live, work and visit.”  

The task force will monitor antisocial behaviour statistics and trends across the city and county so the respective agencies can respond to issues of greatest community concern and learn “best practice” from each other.

The plans also include referring victims of crime-related antisocial behaviour for support through the Nottinghamshire Victim CARE as standard procedure, from September. This service gives practical and emotional support to anyone who is negatively affected by crime and antisocial behaviour.

Chief Inspector Chris Pearson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We thoroughly appreciate the damage antisocial behaviour in all its different forms can cause to communities.

“Shouting abuse, vandalising property, street drinking, car cruising, and off-road bike riding are just some examples of ASB reports we and other police forces receive.

“This type of nuisance behaviour can make people’s lives an absolute misery, which is clearly not okay.

“It is precisely for this reason why tackling antisocial behaviour is among the key policing priorities for our neighbourhood policing teams, as people have told us that us focusing on this issue is important to them.

“We take all reports of this nature extremely seriously and carry out regular visible patrols at hotspot locations across all our policing areas in a bid to deter people from behaving in this manner.

“Our officers also regularly visit schools to carry out positive engagement work with children to help them properly understand the impact this behaviour can have on people’s lives.

“Antisocial behaviour can also be a precursor to people committing future crime, so intervening at this early stage is particularly important in helping to quickly nip this behaviour in the bud and make the community a better place to live.”

The task force will build on the existing partnership work to tackle antisocial behaviour across Nottinghamshire, which includes Safer Streets project work.

This comes after the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire secured £3 million of Home Office funding for projects to make public spaces safer, including tackling antisocial behaviour.

Some of the projects have included employing Street Wardens, installing CCTV and lighting and making environmental improvements.

Other recent examples of a multi-agency crackdown on antisocial behaviour include a six-moth campaign on Mansfield Oak Tree estate, which saw bicycle thefts and arsons fall by 96% and motorbike thefts reduce by 80%.

This was funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Safer4All fund, with partnership delivery by Mansfield District Council, Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Posted on Monday 3rd July 2023
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