PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR COUNCILS’ TRIUMPH IN TACKLING ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
Public support for councils in their battle to tackle anti-social behaviour is as strong as ever as 77% of people surveyed by ComRes, on behalf of the Local Government Association, felt that funding should be protected.
The result is revealed as council community safety officers today gather at the LG Group Safer Communities Annual Conference in Brighton to discuss and showcase innovative schemes to help stamp out crime and acts of anti-social behaviour, such as drunkenness, intimidating groups in public spaces, loud music and harassment.
Cllr Mehboob Khan, chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Programme Board, said:
“Anti-social behaviour can ruin lives and has no place in any community. Councils are doing everything possible to tackle inconsiderate and sometimes intolerable acts that can make law-abiding people’s lives a misery, locking them in their homes and living in fear.
“Councils are working extremely hard in partnership with the police and other agencies to help bring down the levels of anti-social behaviour and ensure a safer environment for everyone. It is an issue that continues to plague communities and quite rightly is a concern for everyone.
“There are some fantastic innovative schemes taking place across the country and today’s conference provides a platform for councils to share experiences and take forward new ideas in our fight against crime. Local authorities have come a long way in understanding what works to deal with anti-social behaviour, so to have the public’s reassurance that we are aiming in the right direction is very encouraging.
“Sadly we live in a world where people are sometimes just too frightened to stand up and speak out. If anybody witnesses something that concerns them, they must feel able to tell somebody in authority about it without worry of repercussions.”
Examples of how councils are winning the fight include:
During the past two years, Brighton and Hove City Council’s family intervention projects have delivered an 85% reduction in anti-social behaviour overall and a 50% fall in the number of young people entering the criminal justice system.
£2million has been saved over the last year through Westminster City Council’s family recovery programme. A study of 50 families who have completed the programme revealed a 48% reduction in reports of anti-social behaviour with an 83% fall in the average number if suspected offences each month.
Whilst Sunderland City Council's mobile XL Youth Villages have been joined by two-state-of-the art, purpose-built youth centre vehicles to compliment existing centres and encourage youngsters to take part in positive activities rather than walk the streets. Youth custody as a result of sentencing is now down at 2.6%, compared with the national average of 5.5%. The work of the council as part of Safer Sunderland Partnership has also resulted in 15,000 fewer victims of crime over the past six years with 28% fewer people now regarding anti-social behaviour as a problem.
Newark and Sherwood District Council has formed a Community Safety Partnership with neighbouring councils and other organisations including, the police, fire service and health service, to reduce the number of victims of crime over the past year by 3,469 - a 17% reduction on the previous year.
Blackpool Council’s `Springboard’ project has helped reduce the number of crimes committed in the area from 246 to 78 and has helped reduce nuisance behaviour by 66.8%, from 401 incidents to 133. Police call-outs have also reduced from 249 to 27 over the past two years.