This week is Antisocial Behaviour (ASB) awareness week, a nationwide campaign run by Resolve, community safety specialists. The aim of the week is to support communities to take a stand against ASB and highlight the options available to those facing it.
Each day of the week has a set theme. Today’s (Wednesday 20th July) theme is ‘Best Practice.’ PC Steve Winn got sent to a job where partnership working between the police, communities and local authorities was the key to a successful resolution.
Kibworth residents close to the village park were becoming increasingly frustrated at a group of local youths who used to meet up and cause a disturbance, police were contacted and PC Winn was sent to investigate.
He decided on an engaged approach to reach the young people, their parents, the local school and councils in order to tackle the issue.
For a short-term solution, he used social media, he would film himself going to the park providing insight into the kind of behaviours people were complaining about.
The longer-term strategy involved the councils setting up meetings with local residents to discuss the problem and achievable outcomes.
As a result of the discussions, CCTV and improved lighting were installed on the park as well as a secure gate put up around the park parameter.
The local beat team were also invited into the school to provide education and prevention advice about ASB.
PC Winn said: “This was all about reaching a conclusion that everyone was happy with. I wanted to speak to the young people themselves to let them know their behaviour was problematic for those who lived close to the park.
“I wanted to engage their parents, not to get anyone in trouble but by speaking to them directly through social media and Facebook Live I was able to show them in real time what was happening.
“The youths were not committing crimes but their behaviours were impacting the community. There were times when glass bottles were broken and not cleared away making the playground unsafe for the children who wanted to use it the next day.
“There were some temporary dispersal zone orders given out which prevented people returning to the park for 24 or 48 hours, these helped too because it gave the residents respite and provided those who received the orders time to moderate their behaviour.
“This combined approach resulted in a reduction in the disturbances on the park and the local community was happier. I found the key to making these improvements was open communication and letting the young people know I didn’t want to stop their fun in any way but that they needed to remember to consider the community impact and keeping the park nice for everyone’s use.”
If you have witnessed or are a victim of ASB then please report it to us, reports can be made via 101/(999 in an emergency) or online via www.leics.police.uk/reportonline.