Community teamwork is the best way to tackle issues with crime and antisocial behaviour.
That was the view of police and council representatives who met recently to discuss recent concerns about groups of youths congregating and engaging in antisocial behaviour in Beeston.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry wanted to find out more after being told about the issues by Broxtowe Borough Council’s portfolio holder for community safety Councillor Richard MacRae.
Cllr MacRae said large numbers of youngsters are believed to be travelling from outside of the town and getting off at the Station Road tram stop, where local people and businesses have reported intimidating behaviour, loud noise and disruption.
He spoke out about it at the Police and Crime Panel at County Hall earlier this month, so Commissioner Henry arranged to meet him at the site, along with Broxtowe Borough Council’s deputy leader Councillor Steve Carr, Nottingham City Councillor Mike Edwards, and Broxtowe Neighbourhood Inspector Mike Ebbins, of Nottinghamshire Police.
Cllr Edwards was not able to attend but each of the representatives of the partner agencies agreed that the support of the community – in identifying and reporting issues like this – is vital to having a positive impact.
Insp Ebbins said officers are already conducting plain-clothed patrols on trams, while high-visibility foot patrols are taking place in the Station Road area as much as possible at peak times, on Friday and Saturday evenings. Police Community Support Officers have also been going into schools to raise awareness.
Police also work closely with partners at tram network NET, who provide footage of any incidents caught on their extensive CCTV coverage across the network.
“Young people from outside Beeston have been coming here on the tram and there have been large gatherings causing nuisance to the residents and businesses,” he said.
“We want people to come and enjoy themselves but people should be aware that antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated and I would urge parents to be aware of where their children are and what they get up to.”
Commissioner Henry said the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner invested in a range of diversionary youth activities to combat crime and antisocial behaviour and she welcomed ideas on where future funding could be directed to have the best impact.
“If it starts with antisocial behaviour at age nine and they get away with that it will start to step up and lead more toward criminality as they get older,” she said.
“It is important that the police, council partners, local businesses and residents all work together as a team to tackle issues as they arise and prevent them spiralling.
“One of the core outcomes within my Make Notts Safe Plan is to establish a strategic antisocial behaviour taskforce where partners can work together and use their collective resources, including sharing intelligence and making use of individual powers, to tackle this issue and increase public trust and confidence in the response.”
Cllr MacRae said he was pleased with the police response to nip the issue in the bud but called on the community to help by reporting issues that arise so that police are aware and can continue to act.
“Broxtowe is a safe place to work, live and enjoy and we want to keep it that way,” he said.
“You are not going to get police on every street corner so the community has to be the eyes and ears for the police. If you see something, you can’t turn a blind eye to it – ring it in.”
Cllr Carr added: “The police are doing a fantastic job and have really risen to the challenge.
“The community has got a part to play too. I would urge people to ring incidents in but also to give a statement that police can act on.”
Anyone who is affected by crime or antisocial behaviour can call Nottinghamshire Police on 101, or 999 in an emergency. Can also report issues online via a web form ocrnpf (notts.police.uk) or use the new live chat function on the force’s website to message a control room operator.
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