SUMMER DEMAND: Tackling anti-social behavious as summer spikes continue

Alert message sent 06/08/2020 14:48:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police

Wiltshire Police are making a concerted effort to address anti-social behaviour as we continue to see summer spikes.

As part of the Summer Demand campaign, which aims to help reduce the demand on our local policing teams, we are putting a strong focus on anti-social behaviour (ASB).

Typically, ASB volumes across Wiltshire are higher in the summer months compared to the winter. In the month of June 2020, Wiltshire recorded 1,589 total incidents of ASB. This was an additional 503 incidents (+40%) compared to January of this year.

ASB incidents can range from fly-tipping to animal nuisance and street drinking, which is reflective of the reports we have received.

The number of ASB incidents have increased within the lockdown and restrictive period (March-June 2020) however these volumes have remained within our expected, seasonal levels and is in line with incidents recorded in the same period last year (1,589 June, 2020 compared to 1,585 June, 2019). As lockdown measures begin to ease we anticipate that our ASB volumes will increase, however currently volumes are considered normal.

This summer we are concentrating efforts on educating the public on what is and isn't ASB and how best to report it, with an emphasis on how to report certain incidents to your local authority.

Already this week, Community Policing Teams (CPTs) around the county have been out taking part in skate park clean ups, with officers in Amesbury joining up with Buzz Action, Amesbury Town Council and Wessex Circus to help improve their community.

While in Chippenham, the CPT are tackling anti-social driving at Bath Road car park and have secured additional funding with Wiltshire Council and Chippenham Town Council through the area board for put CCTV.

Community Policing Team Wiltshire Hub Superintendent Dave Minty said: "The summer is always a busy time for us and any way we can help educate the public to reduce that demand has to be a positive step in the right direction.

"There is a real community focus approach to this as anti-social behaviour can be distressing, ruin people's lives and be disruptive to the wider community, particularly at this time when we find ourselves easing out of lockdown.

"It's important to recognise what should and shouldn't be reported to the police and how your local authority can help as we work together to combat this problem ASB continues to be an issue that requires a partnership approach to successfully tackle."

Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson added: "There is some fantastic work going on in our CPTs to tackle anti-social behaviour in our communities.

"This is highlighted by some really good examples of partnership working to get to the root of the problem.

"Those intent on causing misery and disruption to the community will not be tolerated, and I know that the local authorities will have the full support of the police in clamping down on this behaviour.

"This campaign will help signpost people to the relevant agencies and organisations so that Wiltshire Police, officers, staff and volunteers can best serve them as a community and make them feel safe."

Do you know when to report ASB? ASB is a range of behaviours that can cause nuisance and annoyance or harm and distress to a person. It is a wide range of unacceptable activity.

Here is a useful list of examples of what is and isn't ASB.

This can be ASB...

- Noise - including loud music, banging, DIY at unsocial hours, loud parties, frequent visitors at unsocial hours, which can reported to your local authority.

- Shouting, swearing and fighting

- Intimidation through threats or actual violence

- Harassment

- Verbal abuse

- Abusive behaviour aimed at causing distress or fear to certain people, for example, elderly or disabled people

- Driving in an inconsiderate or careless way, for example, drivers congregating in an area for racing/car cruising

- Dumping rubbish

- Animal nuisance, including dog fouling, dogs barking

- Vandalism, property damage and graffiti

- Anti-social drinking

- Arson

This isn't ASB...

- Parking (including badly parked vehicles)

- Children playing

- Neighbours doing DIY (at reasonable times of the day)

- Groups of people in the street or in parks, unless they are being rowdy, abusive, causing damage or committing other crimes

- Noise caused by everyday living

- Religious or cultural practice

- A one-off party

- General living noise

There is a fine line between ASB and neighbour disputes which can often begin over relatively minor inconveniences such as parking. However, if they persist, they can potentially become anti-social behaviour.

If you would like to report ASB, then you can contact your local authority, your social housing landlord or call the police on 101. Always call 999 in an emergency of if a crime is in progress.

You can join in the conversation using #SummerDemand on Facebook and Twitter.
Message sent by
Matthew Edwards (Police, Media & External Communications Officer, HQ)

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