Agenda item

ASB Presentation by T/Inspector Matthew Ward


The Committee received a presentation on Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) by Temporary Inspector, Matthew Ward.  He advised that he undertook the setting of his policing agenda on a 3 monthly basis.  ASB had been on that agenda for 6 months and would remain on there for the following 3 month period. 


Overall, for the past financial year, ASB had seen a decrease of 4% but there had been an increase in the last month of 6%, noting that this correlated with school holidays.  The main 3 areas of concern were: off-road biking; swimming in open water; and neighbour disputes.  Of the 21 wards within T/Insp. Ward’s area, 11 had seen a reduction in ASB, 3 had remained static; and 7 had seen an increase.  He noted that there was a known risk that if a specific area was targeted, it could result in the ASB moving to another area. 


Swimming in Open Water: in order to address this, the Police were looking into setting up a multi-agency group with consideration being given to the use of dispersal orders.



Off-Road Biking: this was most prevalent in the Magnus and Devon Wards.  Evidence and the reporting of incidents were required in order for a funding bid to be made to tackle the issue.  Comments on social media were not sufficient to support the funding bid the police require official reports. 


Patrols were undertaken weekly in 3 key areas.  The location for the patrols was based on incident reporting and risk.  Police Officers could also provide intelligence they had gathered about whether something may happen in a specific area. 


School Engagement: this was a long-term initiative and offered to primary schools.  Currently these were carried out annually, but the Police would be willing to increase their visits noting that the Police’s Early Intervention Officers targeted secondary schools.  Officers would be maintaining a high-profile presence during the Halloween and Bonfire Night periods as these typically saw an increase in ASB.


In considering the presentation, Members noted that the public often failed to report incidents as the perception was that no action would be taken by the Police and that improvement to communication channels needed to be progressed.  T/Insp. Ward noted the comments and advised that there was a push to improve communications. 


A Member queried how the issue of speeding might be considered as a priority for inclusion on the 3 monthly policing agenda.  T/Insp. Ward advised that priorities were set by statistical information but that anecdotal information could also be considered, which would be the case for speeding.  He commented that it was very much a community feeling and would probably be localised. 


T/Insp. Ward was asked as to how dispersal orders were managed and monitored so as to ensure that problems were not merely moved to a different location.  In response he advised that Newark Town Centre, Balderton and Fernwood all had such an order and that for him to authorise any he would require evidence that ASB was happening at that time. Beat Officers were able to feed into the process, advising where the persons involved had relocated to. He added that when ASB Contracts were issued, work was undertaken with schools and social worders in an attempt to change the behaviour of those involved.  However, he noted that this was not a ‘quick fix’ and could take several years.


Members noted that regular conversations with residents within their wards about their feelings of safety and what reassurances could be given to them about policing in their area.  T/Insp. Ward advised that some activity was not visible for operational reasons.  He advised that if a resident had any specific concerns to contact his Officers who would be able to speak to him directly.


A Member raised the issue of an increase in his ward of the theft of catalytic converters but despite the incident being reported, the Police did not attend.  T/Insp. Ward acknowledged the issue and advised that the reporting of crimes was triaged in the control room.  He added that if the person who had reported the crime was unhappy with the result, they should complain as this may help, in part, to changing the way that crime reporting was dealt with.


In relation to county line drug issues, T/Insp. Ward noted that the increase was due to the Police identifying the issues more easily and not because the number of incidents had increased.  He added that it was not a significantly bad situation.


Again in relation to the reporting of crime, a Member noted that when using the 101 telephone reporting service, Option 7 was that in relation to crimes committed by which time many callers had rung off.  T/Insp. Ward suggested that during the ASB WGs visit to the control room at Police HQ, the issue be raised, noting that there needed to be a push to alternative options for reporting. 


AGREED    (unanimously) that T/Insp. Ward be thanked for his presentation and attendance at the Policy & Performance Improvement Committee.