Campaign launched to encourage reporting of anti-social behaviour
Cumbria’s Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (DFPCC), Mike Johnson, today launched a new campaign to encourage the public to report anti-social behaviour to the Police.
The county-wide campaign is a part of the wider Safer Streets Fund from the Home Office. The Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner made a successful bid to the fund in July 2022 for £760,108 to reduce anti-social behaviour in Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness.
Anti-social behaviour in the county has already reduced by 28.2% over the last year, dropping from 6,858 incidents to 4,922. Nuisance anti-social behaviour was the most common type reported both in 2022 (79%) and so far in 2023 (78%). Across the county, the anti-social behaviour hotspots were identified as our most urban areas including Carlisle, Barrow-in-Furness, Workington, Whitehaven, Penrith and Kendal.
Reducing anti-social behaviour has been a priority in Cumbria over the last year with the Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) who have deployed various tactics to help reduce anti-social behaviour in communities.
One example of this took place in early 2023 in the Morton Manor Community Centre area of Carlisle. The Police received a rise in reports linked to anti-social behaviour at the centre and the neighbouring park. Young people were loitering in the area, causing minor damage to property, banging on windows, and using off-road bikes illegally. The local NPT worked with the council, green spaces team and the management team at Morton Manor to address these issues. Following a series of meetings with key partners and stakeholders, several measures were agreed to help combat the anti-social behaviour, including:
- Additional Police patrols.
- The replacement of lighting in hotspot areas to stop the young people gathering in more concealed areas.
- Closing the gates to the park during twilight hours to reduce access.
These measures reduced the anti-social behaviour significantly and it is no longer considered an issue in the area. The work also allowed stronger working relationships between Police and the Morton Manor management.
Speaking on the campaign, DPFCC, Mike Johnson, said: “We welcome the overall reduction of anti-social behaviour across the county and in local towns, thanks to the dedication of the Police and partner agencies.
“Here in Carlisle, this has been evidenced in the Morton Manor area which has seen a reduction in anti-social behaviour thanks to the collaborative work between the Police and the staff at the local community centre.
“We want to continue to tackle anti-social behaviour in the county and we really need residents to report anti-social behaviour in order for the Police and partner agencies to understand the issues, work together and come up with solutions that tackle the issues in our local communities.
“This is why we are launching this campaign today – to encourage the public to continue to report any anti-social behaviour, no matter how minor they think it is. The Police can only deal with anti-social behaviour if they are made aware of it
“No one should feel intimidated and unsafe in their own community. If you have been in a situation or a location where you felt that people were behaving in an anti-social manner, please report it to the Police on 101 or through their anti-social behaviour report form online.
“Together we can make Cumbria a safer place for all.”
Chief Superintendent Lisa Hogan, Cumbria Constabulary, said: “We are pleased to note that there has been reduction in anti-social behaviour across the county.
“During the past year, we have introduced a number of dedicated community beat officers (CBOs) into our neighbourhood policing teams. The primary role of a CBO is to work closely with communities and partner agencies to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour which is impacting the local area. We are pleased that this work is showing positive results and we are doing all we can to prevent incidents, as well as robustly responding to issues which have been reported to us.
“Despite the reduction in anti-social behaviour, we are from complacent. We know the impact that such behaviour can have on local communities, which only strengths our resolve to continue to effectively tackle issues which matter to people.
“The public have a crucial role to play in our efforts to hold those who commit anti-social behaviour to account. Your information is vital, and I would encourage anyone who has any concerns or information to please get in touch with your local policing team.”
Councillor Denise Rollo, Executive Member for Sustainable, Resilient and Connected Places for Cumberland Council, said: “We welcome this initiative to tackle Anti-Social Behaviour in communities. Anti-social behaviour can blight people lives for long periods and can have very severe consequences.
“Our Local Focus Hubs are very effective in coordinating and tackling a range of multi-agency issues, but they are only as good as the information they work with. Community Intelligence is key, and Cumberland Council supports any initiative which helps and encourages communities to have the confidence to come forward and report incidents.”
Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet member for Sustainable Communities and Localities, Councillor Virginia Taylor, said: “Anti-social behaviour can really damage communities and harm people’s wellbeing and their enjoyment of where they live.
“We have a key Council Plan priority to ensure that Westmorland and Furness is a great place to live and thrive for everyone, building confident, empowered and resilient communities while also recognising that we need to support those in need and reduce inequalities.
“We welcome this campaign – please, if you or someone you know are affected by anti-social behaviour do tell the police to help yourself and your community.’’