Evidence base – Antisocial behaviour (ASB)
Antisocial behaviour continues to be a priority for many agencies and communities across South Gloucestershire, both in terms of the costs of dealing with incidents and also the effect it has on victims and their families. Nuisance behaviour reports have fallen slightly but many of them are linked to disputes or incidents between neighbours; a 92% take-up of victim support services for those victims involved in neighbour disputes points to the fact that while these types of complaints are often referred to as being low level in nature, they may have significant impact on quality of life.
The volume of ASB-related crimes recorded has fluctuated but has not significantly decreased. While recording changes may have had a part to play in the changes in numbers, it once again demonstrates the importance of dealing with this type of disorder. The issues reported over the previous year are of a more diverse nature than those in previous years, covering issues such as vehicle crime, hate crime, fly tipping, vandalism and fly grazing.
The geographical area experiencing the largest proportion of ASB-related incidents continues to be Kingswood, although it should be noted that significant improvements have been made. Downend, Rodway, Siston, Patchway, Filton and Staple Hill have all been highlighted as part of this strategic assessment process as being areas with higher than average levels of ASB. There are also links to the night-time economy with areas like Chipping Sodbury experiencing issues related to disorder on weekend evenings, and there has been a slight increase in deliberate primary fires across the South Glos area (although many of these are attributable to deliberate fires in prisons).
Similar to previous years, our communities have expressed their concern about antisocial behaviour via the Community Engagement Forums, with both rural and urban areas citing antisocial behaviour as the major priority for them locally. Specific locations continue to cause community concern, for example the Barrs Court area in Longwell Green.
We have had some successes tackling antisocial behaviour in the past 12 months and should look to continue building on these. The success of planned multi agency working to tackle the night time economy in Kingswood and ASB issues in Aspects/Parkwall in 2015/16 provides evidence of this type of collaboration being an effective model for dealing with issues and achieving successful outcomes. Joint promotions have taken place between agencies to raise awareness of such initiatives as Neighbourhood Watch, allowing residents to take an active role in combating issues raised at their community engagement forums.