There were 71 cases of ‘serious and persistent anti-social behaviour’ in Northampton in a 12 month period last year according to new figures released by Northampton’s Anti-Social Behaviour Unit (ASBU)
Of these, 50 related to adults, with 21 involving young people aged 17 or under.
All of the cases, which happened between April 2012 and March 2013, were dealt with using various methods available including warning letters, youth work, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs), injunctions, Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) and Anti-Social Behaviour Orders on convictions (CRASBOs).
During the priod, the unit sent out 408 warning letters as a preventative measure to those identified as committing anti-social behaviour and three ABCs were signed.
Youth outreach workers have also been working in nine areas of the town where youth related anti-social behaviour was identified as a problem.
Seven of the 71 cases referred to the unit led to an ASBO, CRASBO or injunction.
Councillor David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “The figures show that early intervention is often the most effective course of action when dealing with anti-social behaviour.
“The sooner we nip it in the bud, the better it is for all concerned. The unit uses a variety of measures to change the behaviour of offenders and in the vast majority of cases these clearly work. Enforcement such as ASBOs and injunctions is, however, used for the more serious and persistent cases.
“It is encouraging to see such a good response to the witness and victim support work provided by the unit.
“I know from looking through the case files how upset and desperate people can be when they are dealing with persistent anti-social behaviour on their doorstep.
“People are often at the end of their tether and really do need practical as well as emotional support to cope with what they are going through.
“The unit is committed to providing continued support for victims and plans this year to set up a support group for victims so they can share their experiences and learn from others.”
The unit, which is made up of officers from Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire Police, was set up in 2001 to work closely with other agencies to share information and more effectively tackle anti-social behaviour.
In addition to its work with offenders, the unit also has a dedicated witness liaison officer to provide support for victims and witnesses.
In 2012/13 the witness liaison officer supported 103 victims and witnesses, 102 of them were directly linked to the 71 anti-social behaviour cases the unit was dealing with.
Follow up calls to witnesses and victims after a case is closed have shown a 100 per cent satisfaction rate with the help and support they received.
Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds said: “The Unit’s success in managing anti-social behaviour through early intervention, and preventing more serious problems, is very good news.
“Getting upstream to prevent crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour is essential for police, partners and other agencies if we are to work together more effectively and efficiently.
“Anti-social behaviour can seriously affect the quality of life of an individual or an entire community and, while police will be working hard to arrest offenders, we need to put victims at the heart of our future plans.
“Anti-social behaviour is a clear priority for members of the public and its importance is highlighted by its inclusion within my Police and Crime Plan.
“To that end, we are working on introducing a multi-agency information-sharing system that supports victims of anti-social behaviour.
“I want to make the county the safest place in England and to give victims the knowledge and confidence that their issue is being tackled robustly and quickly.”