Targeted activities to support communities and tackle nuisance and disorder have been highlighted as contributing to a sharp fall in anti-social behaviour across the city.
Figures revealed by Stoke-on-Trent City Council show that there have been 190 fewer incidents reported over the past three months, with incidents falling by more than one third in both Hanley and Tunstall.
The fall comes after a series of measures put in place by the authority in partnership with Staffordshire Police, and with the support of other agencies. The activities include:
- Effective work with the police to share data from across the city to identify hotspot locations and provide targeted interventions.
- Bi-weekly senior level meetings between council officers and local police commanders to ensure the most appropriate support is provided to communities.
- Targeted ‘days of action’ and ‘weeks of action’, bringing services including council environment teams, police, fire, voluntary and community groups together to tackle issues important to local residents.
- Nine trading standards test purchases to date, combating the sale of knives to young people.
- Weekly Street Games sessions in the community in Meir which have been running since January on Sunday evenings. More than 20 young people regularly attend and take part in positive activities such as football, basketball, cricket and dodgeball.
- Leading locally on campaigns to combat knife crime, and co-ordinating a partnership approach to manage seasonal campaigns on Bonfire Night and Halloween.
- Supporting Golden Gloves Boxing Club in Goldenhill with funding to help young people to continue to access positive sports sessions regularly attended by 20-40 young people.
- Supporting young people in the north of the city through a 12-week ‘be a leader’ programme, working with Port Vale, with a sports leadership qualification at the end of the course.
- Supporting the city’s homeless hub with extra funding for facilities and staff so that it can open for an extra day each week.
A council spokesman said: “We now have really strongly established partnership working with a range of agencies, sharing information so that we can effectively deal with complex individuals who impact on communities and who cause repeated demands on services. It is an approach that is paying off.
“We know that over the past 12 months instances of rowdy and inconsiderate behaviour, drug misuse and begging have increased in the city. We are committed to addressing this, through sharing information and co-ordinating responses. In the same 12 months, incidents of neighbour disputes, nuisance communications, on street drinking, prostitution and noise from pubs and clubs have all fallen.
“We are working with partners to effectively address issues. There is also a range of statutory powers, such as injunctions and public space protection orders which we can use with partners to tackle disorder and to support our residents, businesses and communities.”
Superintendent Martin Brereton, head of neighbourhood policing at Staffordshire Police, said: “Our ongoing investment in neighbourhood policing has enabled us to make some really positive progress to reduce anti-social behaviour across the city. Anti-social behaviour can have a significant impact on individuals and communities and is therefore something we take very seriously. Issues like anti-social behaviour are tackled best when organisations work together and the strong relationship we have with partners like Stoke-on-Trent City Council is testament to this success.
“Anyone who is a victim of anti-social behaviour or who witnesses it should contact us on 101 immediately.”
For all media enquiries please contact the press office at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232671 (journalists only)