Getting Tough on Anti-Social Behaviour
There has been significant progress in getting toughon anti-social behaviour (ASB) with a focus on Neighbourhood Policing (NHP) improving engagement; partnership-working; and targeting those issues and people who cause the most harm in our communities.
I have also focused on strengthening partnerships between the broad number of organisations who have different but vital roles in addressing ASB concerns and ensuring the public feel safe.
I continue to support Lancashire Constabulary in doing whatever we can to address what is all too often a blight on our communities.
Anti-Social Behaviour Survey
In July 2022 I launched my Lancashire-wide anti-social behaviour survey to get a full picture of the scale and types of antisocial behaviour (ASB), to identify hotspots and to look at how the police and local partners can work better together to get tough on ASB and to keep local communities safe.
Results from the survey were independently evaluated and shared with partners through Lancashire’s Community Safety Partnerships to form a joined-up response to tackling anti-social behaviour across the county.
Survey results showed that 27 per cent of residents have witnessed ASB in the past 12 months, while 39 per cent have been directly affected by anti-social behaviour. 14. Most incidents of ASB occur close to residents’ own homes with 42 per cent occurring at people’s home address or on their street and 23 per cent within a 15-minute walk of where they live.
Intimidating behaviour, verbal abuse and drug dealing were reported as some of the top concerns for residents across the county.
The full survey insights formed a key part of a series of ASB summits I held to tackle the issue across Lancashire in a joint-up partnership approach.
Anti-Social Behaviour Summits
Throughout January 2023, I held three anti-social behaviour (ASB) summits across the county, strengthening the partnership response that is needed to deter and prevent the type of behaviour we too often see on our streets and communities.
175 delegates from agencies including Police, Local Authorities, Education, Housing Associations and local MPs attended to discuss the different ways individual partners help tackle the blight of ASB.
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. We heard about some great examples of proactive, partnership working that has made communities safer.
These events are helping us build a clearer picture of how I can continue getting tough on antisocial behaviour and ensure that we all play our part in making Lancashire safer and our residents feel safer.
Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan Pilot
In March 2023 I welcomed the Government’s ASB Action Plan announcement which saw Lancashire benefit from £2m to pilot new ways of addressing antisocial behaviour and tackle hot spots. Lancashire was one of only 10 forces chosen for extra funding following my extensive talks with MPs, Ministers and national bodies on ideas to address ASB and help me deliver my fighting crime plan priority to get tough on anti-social behaviour and stop the blight on our communities, ruining lives and risking escalation.
The boost means increased, visible police patrols, dedicated to tackling anti-social behaviour and the issues that matter most to people.
It is vital for community confidence that these crimes will be quickly and visibly addressed. Wherever in Lancashire people live, they should be able to feel proud of their community.
Lancashire Constabulary launched a new operation to deal with motor-nuisance related incidents in the county following my call to get tough on anti-social behaviour.
This included the use of motorbikes, mopeds, scrambler bikes and quad bikes causing general anti-social behaviour, noise issues, damage to land and roads, and danger to other road users and pedestrians.
Operation Propulsion ran in conjunction with several partners across Lancashire, including Local Authorities and saw an increased amount of officers patrolling locations where residents had highlighted motor-nuisance as an area of concern – this includes housing estates, private land, industrial areas, and cycle tracks.
This operation is about taking action to address the concerns of Lancashire’s residents and making our communities safer for everyone.
Riders engaging in this sort of behaviour pose a danger to other road users, pedestrians and themselves. We are cracking down on these issues, removing illegal and nuisance bikes off the streets and bringing those responsible for these criminal offences to court.
Officers utilise a range of powers to seize any vehicles that are being used illegally and causing antisocial behaviour.
ASB, Prevention and Problem-Solving (POP) Command
I have funded the establishment of an ASB, Prevention and Problem Solving Command to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) and the prevention of crime through problem solving.
Launching Summer 2023, the Problem Orientated Policing team continues to be recruited and trained to be experts in problem solving and prevention.
This includes specialists in problem solving, civil enforcement, designing out crime, rural and business crime.
They will support strengthened neighbourhood teams in working with partners and engaging the public to implement sustainable solutions to address recurring issues, ASB, repeat victims and locations, issues which are community priorities and issues which result in a continuously high demand for police services.
During 2022, members of the team supported and advised on over 150 problem solving operations to tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour, burglary, drug dealing and motorcycle nuisance.
Three Civil Enforcement Officers are due to join this team in the near future. Their focus will be to develop and secure Civil Orders against the most prolific anti-social individuals or gangs involved in ASB and crime.
Existing specialist staff such as the Designing out crime officers (DOCOs), the Business Crime Coordinator and the Rural Crime Coordinator are also being incorporated within the new Command structure to provide specialist tactical advice and support where appropriate.
Reduction in ASB incidents compared with last year
Increase in problem oriented policing plans – leading to increased and effective partnership-based problemsolving initiatives
Of all eligible Lancashire resedents subscribed to our neighbourhood alerts and messaging system, Lancashire Talking - almost 106,000 users
Of those asked reported having confidence in Lancashire Police according to the latest Crime Service England & Wales results; 2% higher than the overall figure for England and Wales
Civil orders issued to target ASB hotspot locations and persistant individuals; 11% more than were issued in the previous 12 months
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