Lancashire Police tackling anti-social behaviour, abuse, and drug-dealing with county-wide summits
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Such were the results of a recent independent survey carried out on behalf of the county’s Police & Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden, who has himself been quick to respond.
Sharing his plans to increase efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) across Lancashire, Commissioner Snowden will be holding a series of anti-social behaviour summits in January 2023 to form a coalition between police, key partners from community safety organisations, and representatives from local councils and housing associations.
It’s hoped the targeted work will build on steps already in place to tackle ASB, including the recruitment of hundreds of additional officers, investment in rural and urban task-forces, the change from hybrid policing to dedicated neighbourhood and response teams, and support for local projects through the Commissioner's Safer Lancashire Neighbourhoods Fund.
"Anti-social behaviour is an issue that residents raise with me time and time again and it’s something that I take very seriously,” says Commissioner Snowden. “I want residents to see that I’m listening and that I’m taking action to address their concerns. It was really important to me to get a true picture of the scale and types of anti-social behaviour in our communities.
“[That’s] why I commissioned an independent survey to provide additional insights on ASB which we know is underreported,” he adds.“Anti-social behaviour isn't an issue that can be solved by policing alone - now is the time to share the insights we have gathered so we can tackle the issue together and form a joint-up response where all agencies play their part.
"In January, I’ll host a series of summits to bring together senior Lancashire leaders to build on our excellent local partnerships and to ensure that we work together as effectively as possible to address local issues,” Commissioner Snowden says. "The summits and survey will also inform [a] dedicated ASB problem-solving unit, which is being established in 2023.”
At the summits, findings from the survey will be shared with local residents, including data showing that 27% of residents have witnessed ASB in the past 12 months, 39% have been directly affected by ASB, 42% of incidents occur close to residents' homes, and 23% within a 15 minute walk of where they live.
Intimidating behaviour, verbal abuse, and drug dealing were reported as some of the top concerns for residents across the county, with further work underway to establish a dedicated anti-social behaviour problem-solving unit within the Constabulary.
"I’m proud to see this work building on what has already been achieved,” says Commissioner Snowden. “Over 600 new officers will have joined the Constabulary by next year, the hybrid model of policing is being replaced by dedicated teams, I’ve invested in both rural and urban task forces to tackle local issues head-on, and my Safer Lancashire Neighbourhoods Fund continues to support projects to tackle crime and ASB.
"In combination, all of these steps will make a real impact in local neighbourhoods and will improve the response to incidents of anti-social behaviour in Lancashire."