29/06/2011 - Permalink

Anti-social behaviour: Tell us about it!

Related topics: Community / Health

The everyday crime and disorder described as anti-social behaviour – from vandalism and graffiti to drug dealing and harassment – ultimately has an impact on the quality of life of everyone in Shropshire.  And there’s now an easier way of reporting incidents than ever before.

The Safer Stronger Communities Partnership believes that all residents and tenants have the right to live peacefully within their home and community, and is committed to tackling anti-social behaviour.  The partnership has introduced a single reporting number for people to report incidents of anti-social behaviour.

The telephone number 0345 678 9020 went live on Tuesday 28 June 2011, with Shropshire Council’s customer service centre taking calls Monday to Thursday 8am to 8pm, Fridays 8am to 6pm, and Saturdays 9am to 1pm.

Outside of these times the CCTV monitoring centre will take calls as part of the out-of-hours service.  The telephone number is available to both private residents and housing tenants, and gives everyone a single point of contact to report anti-social behaviour.

Shropshire Council, West Mercia Police and registered social landlords, including Severnside, Shropshire Housing Group, Shropshire Rural, Wrekin Housing Trust and Sanctuary Housing, have worked in partnership to establish a team to provide help and advice where additional resources are required, or where the issue requires a co-ordinated multi-agency response.  This team will be used where appropriate to help ongoing investigations or to start new investigations where requested, providing support when necessary.

Councillor Steve Charmley, cabinet member for health and well-being, said:

“I welcome this new approach to tackling anti-social behaviour in Shropshire which is being undertaken in partnership.  It should be recognised that anti-social behaviour differs from place to place.  For instance, in one neighbourhood, people will be concerned about off-road motorbikes, in another vandalism and graffiti, and street dealing and drug taking in another. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

“A significant number of anti-social behaviour incidents require a multi-agency response to resolve the issue. There is no one service area or contact point where incidents affecting victims can be reported, the issues cross over many different services and this single point of contact will make our response much more effective.”

Police Inspector Ian Rouse said the new multi-agency team and 24-hour hotline would provide a quicker and better service to victims of anti-social behaviour:

“It makes reporting of incidents for victims and the resolution process for those investigating complaints, easier and less bureaucratic.

“Our number one priority is to help victims and to alleviate the misery they are subjected to in the most effective way possible. The police in Shropshire handle more than 16,000 complaints annually about anti-social behaviour – all impacting on people’s quality of life.

“The police will still take action and resolve complaints where necessary but there are many, many calls relating to low-level anti-social behaviour, which by their nature, will be investigated and resolved by other agencies.”

He added:

“The bottom line is that people should not have to suffer from the anti-social behaviour of others, whatever form the behaviour takes.  Tell us and we will act.  We are now better equipped than ever to help.”

Supporting the project is national housing provider, Sanctuary Housing – which manages some 16,000 homes across the midlands.   Regional director for Sanctuary, Jason MacGilp, said:

“Sanctuary is pleased to be supporting the partnership, by providing funding and seconding one of our managers to lead the project.
“This is a real multi-agency approach to tackling anti-social behaviour.  Our priority is to increase community confidence, demonstrating our commitment to supporting the victims of anti-social behaviour and taking action against perpetrators.”

The Safer Stronger Communities Partnership is the community safety partnership for Shropshire, made up of the West Mercia Police, Shropshire Council, West Mercia Police Authority, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, Primary Care Trust and the Probation Service.