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What happens behind the scenes when you report ASB?

by Jonathan Kearney

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) Awareness Week (3 – 9 July) is an important time for Knowsley’s Local Policing Team and Knowsley Council, not only to highlight the work that goes into tackling ASB but also to encourage Knowsley residents not to suffer in silence if they’re experiencing it.

Anti-social behaviour can be anything from scrambler bikes and street drinking to late night parties and fireworks. The police and council have various legal powers to tackle these problems, and this week they want to show the public some of the work that goes on behind the scenes.

Knowsley Local Policing Inspector Mark Berry explains: “I don’t think a lot of people are aware of what actually happens when they report ASB to us – that’s why this week matters so much. If you report ASB on our website, send us a DM or call 101, we’ll take the information and your details, but what do we do with that information? It’s just the start of things for us.”

“When a repot of ASB comes in it’s immediately circulated to patrols for deployment, and the information you’ve given us goes towards building a strategic big picture that we can take action on. Every day that information ends up in front of myself or Inspector Robinson. Maybe that’s the first time you came across that individual causing a disturbance and you don’t run into them again – but odds are we already know exactly who they are. They might have been committing ASB all over the area – we might have had multiple reports of different types in different locations. We can put all of that information together and decide an approach.”

“Sometimes it’s something as straightforward as putting out an additional policing patrol, just extra visibility can be enough. But if our intelligence indicates that this person is committing ASB because they’ve got, say, mental health or addiction problems, then we’ll need do something different. Get specialist partnership agencies involved who can address the root of the problem. Sometimes we’ll set up an ASB agreement with the parents, if it’s a young person, or work with the housing agency and the school.”

“Even once we’ve made an ASB plan to tackle a problem – that’s the not the end of it. We need to know if it’s actually working. So, every single time we take an action – we carry out weekly evaluations. Did this actually change the behaviour? Did it help the people it was supposed to? Or do we need to try something different.”

“We do hold regular Community Advisory Group meetings to update people about what we’re doing about ASB, but we understand that people are busy. If you haven’t got the time to attend for an update, just know that if you’ve reported ASB to us, it’s helped us to decide how best to deploy our resources so that the areas that need it most are getting supported.  And if you’re still experiencing ASB after you’ve reported it once – get back in touch with us. We need to know it’s still going on so that we can try different tactics. Just don’t suffer in silence.”

The police and local council often work together to resolve instances of anti-social behaviour to ensure that any issues experienced by Knowsley residents are dealt with – regardless of where the responsibility falls.

Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, said: “Knowsley’s Crime and Communities team are on hand to help resolve cases of anti-social behaviour in our borough. Nobody should have to suffer anti-social behaviour in their community and we encourage residents to report incidents to us, the police, or their landlord so the matter can be looked into and dealt with. When reports of anti-social behaviour come in to our Crime and Communities team the resident is allocated an area officer to deal with their case. They will then discuss available options with the resident to help resolve the matter. Potential resolutions will often involve partner organisations such as the Police, landlords or youth services. The resident is supported and kept informed about their case up to its conclusion. Residents also have the right to a multi-agency case review following the outcome of their particular case. This helps ensure people have confidence in the way their cases are dealt with.”

Local Policing Teams in Knowsley will be sharing some of their tactics for tackling anti-social behaviour with the public across the week on social media, as well shining a spotlight on some of their day-to-day partnership operations with Knowsley Council.