Consultation on draft strategy to tackle anti-social behaviour
In Autumn 2022, we invited you to tell us what you think about a draft strategy to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) for the next three years.
What's the latest?
In total, there were 94 responses to the consultation from a range of local residents and organisations with 82% either 'strongly agreeing' or 'agreeing' overall with the draft ASB strategy.
The responses were analysed and some revisions made to the strategy. These were fed back to the Safe Durham Partnership (SDP) and the final ASB strategy was approved by the Partnership in January 2023 and can be viewed on the Promote being safe and feeling safe in your community webpage. Action plans will now be developed around each of the eight principles contained in the strategy.
ASB can have a massive impact on those who suffer it. Being and feeling safe at home, and out in your local community, is important for emotional and physical wellbeing, as well as personal resilience. Tackling ASB will help improve people's lives and build stronger, more confident and cohesive communities across County Durham.
The Safe Durham Partnership (SDP) has worked hard to prevent and tackle ASB, since its formation in 2009, and is continually reviewing the way in which it achieves this goal. We've been working, with our SDP partners, to develop a draft strategy which outlines our proposed approach to tackling ASB over the next three years. As part of this work, we've looked at the County's ASB statistics and considered feedback from other relevant surveys and engagement activities to identify what is important. These include the recent Area Action Partnership priority setting exercise, the consultations for our Inclusive Economic Strategy and Children, Young People and Families' Strategy and the Student Voice survey and Rural Crime Survey.
What is ASB?
It's important to understand that ASB can be many different things. For example, deliberate fires, nuisance motorcycles or quad bikes, graffiti, fly tipping, disorderly or nuisance behaviour, harassment and intimidation and noisy neighbours, are all examples of ASB.
It's also important to understand what ASB is not, for example, normal household living noises such as children playing or doors closing. Neither are disputes about street parking, hedges or fences, or children playing in the street where there is no associated ASB such as harassment or criminal damage.
Summary of the draft Strategy
The strategy provides the framework by which the Safe Durham Partnership will work together to prevent and handle ASB across County Durham, whilst embracing the following eight principles:
Working in partnership
A commitment from partners including us (neighbourhood wardens, housing officers, environmental health), Durham Police, County Durham Fire and Rescue Service, housing providers and landlords, the voluntary and charity sector to work together to tackle ASB.
Champion the victims' voice
To work with victims' champions, the Victims' Commissioner and victims themselves to put them at the centre of plans and how services are delivered.
Provide the best victim experience (this was changed to provide the best victim support following feedback in the consultation)
Have easy and accessible ways to report ASB and clear support mechanisms (eg for referrals and information and advocacy services), where throughout the investigation, the victim is:
- satisfied that they have been treated with respect and dignity
- kept up to date with the investigation through the process
- confident that the most appropriate course of action has been taken to try and resolve their complaint
Provide victim centric community trigger and community remedy processes
If you have an ongoing problem with anti-social behaviour and it is not being dealt with, the Community Trigger gives you and your community the right to expect action. It also provides for local restorative justice programmes such as community service and payback.
Implement preventative measures
This includes engagement and education activities, crime prevention measures, providing local activities which provide a positive diversion and support for communities to solve problems locally.
Make full use of tools and powers
Ensure that all partners have the skills and knowledge to take appropriate action to tackle ASB when it is needed and provide the best outcome for each case.
Maximise use of digital technologies
To report issues, share information and analyse data to better evaluate the services available and allocate resources in the county's communities.
An inclusive approach
All the county's communities receive a fair level of support to tackle anti-social behaviour, but areas where there are particular problems and needs are prioritised.
Have your say
The closing date for comments was 11.59pm on Sunday 13 November 2022. Thank you to everyone who took part.