Champion to lead battle on anti-social behaviour
Published: 12th Feb 2010 09:00:00
A VICTIMS' champion to support residents subjected to anti-social behaviour is to be appointed.
The Home Office has set aside £2.8 million over the next two years to pay for more than 80 positions across the country.
Work to fill the posts is already underway.
Over the last 12 years a series of measures designed to tackle anti-social behaviour have been introduced.
These include Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs), Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (CRASBOs) and dispersal orders.
There are currently around 100 ASBO and CRASBO orders active in the borough.
Safer Walsall Partnership is made up of various agencies including Walsall Council, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service, NHS Walsall, West Midlands Probation Service, Walsall Housing Group and New Horizons. It works to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
The partnership recently launched Operation Safe Street to target anti-social problems.
Between July and December 2009, anti-social incidents fell by 12 per cent, compared to the same period in 2008, which equates to 1,040 fewer victims.
The victims' champion will be able to provide reassurance to residents who log complaints of anti-social behaviour and may be worried about taking their case further for fear of reprisals.
The hope is this will encourage more residents to raise their concerns.
The champion will also provide advice on gathering evidence and offer support in pursuing a case through the courts.
Councillor Garry Perry, chair of Safer Walsall Partnership, said: "Tackling anti-social behaviour is one of our top priorities and residents have the right to live where they want without being subjected to intimidation and harassment.
"It is vital that complaints are not ignored and that victims are given as much help as possible to take robust action against those who are making their lives a misery.
"We have made good progress in tackling anti-social behaviour but the appointment of a victims' champion will hopefully enable us to take this a step further."
The role of victims' champion will add to the measures already in place to tackle anti-social behaviour, ongoing work with schools and parents to deliver Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, and the Positive Parenting Programme.
As part of Operation Safe Street, police patrols have increased in hotspot areas, officers hold talks at schools, CCTV cameras are used to gather evidence, and the fire service is to carry out training alongside other initiatives.
Sergeant Kelvin Rowlands, from Walsall community safety team, said: "Anti-social behaviour can only be tackled in partnership. This new post will compliment work already being done across Walsall.
"In addition the post will give much-needed support and reassurance to the victims of anti-social behaviour."
Operation Safe Street is being run in conjunction with Walsall Council's Cracking Environmental Crime campaign, which aims to stamp out problems such as flytipping, litter and graffiti.
Statistics have shown there is a clear link between environmental crime and anti-social behaviour.
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Harvard CitationThis Is Staffordshire, 2010. Champion to lead battle on anti-social behaviour [Online] (Updated 12th Feb 2010)
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