Teamwork to tackle anti-social behaviour
PUBLISHED: 14:20 17 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:27 06 May 2010
HIGH visibility policing, more parent involvement and partnership working is the key to tackling anti-social behaviour, according to a new community team. Stevenage Police are back up to full strength thanks to the arrival of Insp Mark Furnival, Sgt Jim M
HIGH visibility policing, more parent involvement and partnership working is the key to tackling anti-social behaviour, according to a new community team.
Stevenage Police are back up to full strength thanks to the arrival of Insp Mark Furnival, Sgt Jim Moatt and Sgt Jason Thorne.
Insp Furnival replaces Dean Patient who was made chief inspector for Stevenage at the end of last year.
It is hoped the new structure will lead to more dedicated policing for residents of Stevenage.
The community team's crackdown on anti-social behaviour coincides with Tony Blair's pledge last week to give police more powers to give on the spot fines as part of his respect agenda.
Anti-social behaviour is, according to Insp Furnival, the biggest challenge the team face because of the impact it has on people's quality of life.
Insp Furnival, who lives in Cambridge has been in the force for 25 years.
Community policing is all about working with partners, such as primary care trusts, local authorities, neighbourhood watch and youth groups, to come up with long term solutions to the problems in Stevenage.
Insp Furnival said: "Community policing has come on a long way in the last few years. People no longer believe it is just our responsibility to sort things out. Now everyone has a part to play."
Sgt Moatt, who lives in Letchworth GC, said the public need to be patient and realise that anti-social behaviour problems need long term solutions.
He said: "We need to work together to come up with solutions with our partners."
Anti-social behaviour is a problem everywhere but how can it be tackled?
Sgt Moatt said high visibility policing is one answer: "People want reassurance. They want to see uniformed officers regularly but the sight of officers also acts as a deterrent."
Leading the way on high visibility policing will be police community support officers (PCSOs). The force will soon be welcoming a "substantial" number of newly trained PCSOs and this is something which Sgt Moatt believes is a positive thing: "PCSOs enable us to have a reasonable coverage plus they are able to take on tasks which allow Pcs to do things they wouldn't otherwise be able to."
Sgt Thorne, who lives in Biggleswade, agrees: "They are also a great source of intelligence and local knowledge."
More parental involvement will also be sought by officers. "Some parents may not know what is going on or to what extent. Sometimes all it needs is a home visit to stop the behaviour," said Sgt Thorne.
Officers will be continuing to use fixed penalty notices, which are on the spot fines, on youths causing disorder.
Surprisingly, a large percentage of anti-social behaviour incidents surround youths on mopeds.
Officers will continue using section 59 orders which allows them to seize vehicles driven in an anti-social manner and has been working well so far.
But as well as the anti-social aspects of mopeds there are also safety concerns. Sgt Thorne said: "What we don't want is the death of young people on the roads of Stevenage."
The police are not only looking for the help of their partners. They need your help too.
They say they need the public to act as their "eyes and ears" and would like to encourage people suffering from youth nuisance or other forms of anti-social behaviour to come forward with information.
The team also say they are not afraid to use anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs). Last year six Stevenage teenagers were given ASBOs to help reduce anti-social behaviour in Hertford Road. The police say the issuing of ASBOs has calmed the problems in the area and they will issue more if needed.
Insp Furnival said: "We are cracking down on crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour to make Stevenage a more pleasant place to live. That is our ultimate goal and it is what we are here to do. I hope local people see a real difference.