Wednesday, 6 October 2010

anti-social behaviour.

I was sorry to read on the Canalworld Forum  about an unpleasant situation experienced by a family on their boat, perpetrated by a lout on a hire boat. More than that I was surprised by a willingness by some people on the forum to accept what had happened . In essence it was a case of hit and run, failing to stop which eventually led to a deliberate and provocative case of anti-social behaviour.

I have had experience of a similar unpleasant situation that took place in March this year. At the time I did nothing, however in hindsight I realised that if we don't stand together collectivly and have a zero tolerance attitude to this problem, things will only get worse.

Section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986 creates the distinct offence of intentional harassment, alarm or distress. Under section 5,1 a & b

The offence is created by section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986:

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he:

(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or

(b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby."

This is a summary offence. It is punishable with a fine not exceeding £1,000.

I was wondering what the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) think about such anti-social behaviour?

Ref:070/10     September 23, 2010
ACPO response to HMIC report on anti-social behaviour

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Edens ACPO lead on anti-social behaviour said: “Chief officers are acutely aware of the devastating impact anti-social behaviour can have in neighbourhoods when it is not tackled, particularly where repeat and vulnerable victims are involved. We will continue to work tirelessly to improve our response. What this report highlights is that where there is police action, victim satisfaction in the police response to anti-social behaviour is high. As HMIC recognises, modern policing has to meet a hugely complex range of challenges. Tackling anti-social behaviour must be achieved alongside keeping people safe through less visible parts of policing such as tackling serious organised crime or terrorism. Anti-social behaviour is not a matter for the police to tackle alone, and the service supports the Government’s approach to encouraging greater personal and community involvement in neighbourhoods.”

ACPO have an Assistant Chief Constable leading on this issue. The Police can't tackle anti-social behaviour unless the wider community get involved. You get involved by reporting any instance anti-social behaviour. I don't think it can be made much more plainer than in the above ACPO Press release.

However, its not the first time ACPO have published a press release on ASB.

Ref:017/10   March 11, 2010
ACPO statement on anti-social behaviour

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Edens the ACPO lead on anti-social behaviour.said: "Chief Officers recognize that what people want most for the community in which they live, is to feel safe in the homes they live in, and on the streets they walk. We know that anti-social behaviour matters to the public and that the police service is the only 24-hour, 365 day per year resource that the public can turn to. Of the 3,600 neighbourhood policing teams across the country, most if not all of them will have anti-social behaviour as a top or high priority. Information sharing is critical to dealing effectively with ASB and that includes between local partners as well as within the police service. As policing prepares for straitened financial times difficult decisions on priorities lie ahead and it is vital that others, including councils, housing providers and parents continue to work closely with us if we are to improve our response to the public in this crucial area. As a police service we are universally committed to a local focus on policing which deals with what matters in every street and neighbourhood."

A further press release issued in 2009 also highlighted that the police wanted such issues to be brought to their attention.

Ref:122/09   November 20, 2009

ACPO comment on anti-social behaviour funding

Chief Constable Julie Spence, ACPO lead on citizen focus said: "Tackling anti-social behaviour is an important responsibility of the police. The police service as a whole does not tolerate anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood policing teams remain dedicated to tackling it. Very often, police are the only resource that the public can turn to 24 hours, 365 days a year. A partnership approach will ensure victims are getting enough support. Police, local councils and communities must continue to work together to ensure people acting anti-socially are dealt with appropriately. Effective data sharing arrangements between partners are critical in order to ensure vulnerable members of the public are identified and protected. People should feel secure in their communities and the police service will continue working hard to ensure vulnerable people are safe."

Now I know why the Police are keen to get their teeth into some of the Anti-Social Element.

It came as something of a surprise to hear on the radio. That most Police forces stand accused of failure over dealing with and recording anti-social behaviour. The chief inspector of constabulary (Denis O'Connor) has been critical of the way the police in England and Wales deal with complaints of anti-social behaviour. O'Connor said "The failure to properly record and tackle incidents undermined confidence in the police" He also called for urgent improvements. His comments came as the inspectorate published "report cards" on the performance of all 43 of the UK forces. The inspectorate found the way police databases logged information about reports of harassment, vandalism and verbal abuse was "inadequate". Most police computer systems were unable to identify people who had been victims before or had previously been categorised as "vulnerable". Mr O'Connor said: "It is like going back to the doctors' surgery but you see a different doctor every time. The more times they suffer the less confidence people have. There are some heart-rending stories."


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