Over 60 people from across Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre, Lancaster and Morecambe in the West of the county met at The Village Hotel in Blackpool, the first of three events focusing on anti-social behaviour being held across Lancashire in the coming weeks.
Senior leaders from organisations who play a role in tackling anti-social behaviour, discussed the partnership response required to make a visible difference in local neighbourhoods. This included representatives from Lancashire Constabulary, local councils, housing associations, education, and third sector organisations.
Findings from the Commissioner’s independent ASB survey, carried out last year, were also shared and formed part of group discussions.
Attendees were asked to commit to further strengthening relationships, recognising the importance of their organisations in tackling anti-social behaviour issues and the fact that policing is only one part of solving ASB problems – with everything from strengthening youth justice consequences through to adequate youth provision needed.
Attendees also pledged to back and engage in and with the new problem orientated policing (POP) command unit that will focus on local issues, working with partners to address community concerns.
Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said:
“I’m delighted to host these really important summits as we strive to strengthen the partnership response to anti-social behaviour and to emphasise the important role that we all have to play in stopping this blight on our communities.
“Anti-social behaviour is an issue that residents raise with me time and time again, which is why it is a key priority in my Fighting Crime Plan. By sharing examples of what is working and identifying areas of concern we can drive positive change.
“Whilst policing does and will continue to play a vital role in tackling ASB, the need for support and involvement from partnership organisations that can deter and prevent the type of behaviour we see all too often on our streets and in communities is paramount.
“Alongside supporting the policing response, increases in partnership working are needed to feel the benefit from the hundreds of additional officers being put on our streets. I have also written to the Home Secretary on the work needed to strengthen the punishments available to address young offenders, something that is out of the polices’ control, to reduce reoffending and better target hotspot areas of concern.
“I’m investing in a new specialist anti-social behaviour unit addressing local concerns, with a launch expected in the Spring ahead of what is always a busy time for anti-social behaviour in the summer holidays.
“It’s good to hear different views and inputs based on personal experiences during the conferences and different ways of addressing ASB concerns of different kinds. From prevention within local communities, engagement with different services and enforcement, these events are helping us build a clearer picture of how I can continue getting tough on anti-social behaviour and ensure that we all play our part in making Lancashire safer and our residents feel safer.”
Lancashire Chief Constable Chris Rowley said: “We are committed to tackling the issues of most concern to our local communities and we know from surveys, our Lancashire Talking initiative and the many conversations we have with local residents, that anti-social behaviour is one of them. That is why, day in day out, our dedicated Neighbourhood Teams take robust action to address the problem, carrying out a range of activity to target offenders or divert them away from crime.
“However, anti social behaviour is not a problem that the Police can solve in isolation; we need long term sustainable solutions and the help of other statutory, community and voluntary organisations, as well as continued assistance from our local residents. Whilst I understand in some areas it may not feel like it, through excellent Police and partnership working ASB is reducing and we are focused on continued reductions.
He added: “It has been fantastic to attend these summits and to see the commitment and determination from the various different agencies to work with Police to bring about change. I am very much looking forward to working with them to find new ways to address local antisocial behaviour problems and I’m confident that together, we can make our communities even safer.”
The summit in the West of the county is one of three taking place in January across Lancashire.