Boost to fight anti-social behaviour
IPSWICH's top anti-social behaviour expert has today praised the government's decision to make the town a Respect Action Area.The status, awarded by the Home Office, means Ipswich will receive an extra £30,000 towards its anti-social behaviour budget, funding which will be used to tackle yobbish and unruly behaviour at its roots.
IPSWICH's top anti-social behaviour expert has today praised the government's decision to make the town a Respect Action Area.
The status, awarded by the Home Office, means Ipswich will receive an extra £30,000 towards its anti-social behaviour budget, funding which will be used to tackle yobbish and unruly behaviour at its roots.
Ipswich is one of 40 areas in the country to be awarded the status but according to Andy Solomon, the town's anti-social behaviour network manager, this does not mean it is one of the 40 worst areas in the country.
He said: “We have problems in Ipswich with regard to anti-social behaviour but they are no different to any other town or city in terms of size.
“There are areas where there are problems with youths outside shops, noisy neighbours and drug dealing going on but I don't think they are any greater than anywhere else.
“I think the status and the extra money is positive and recognises that over the past three years we have tried to tackle anti-social behaviour in a whole number of ways.”
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Mr Solomon said measures to further tackle the issue would include the continuation of the town's Family Intervention Project, a scheme run by Anglia Care Trust which works with troubled families to try to tackle the causes of anti-social behaviour, such as violence at home and poor parenting.
The town will also be expected to bring in a Parenting Co-ordinator, who will work with schools and families to ensure parents are getting the help they need through measures such as parenting classes.
Mr Solomon added: “We are quite keen to stress we want people not to think of parenting classes as punishment or for them to have a stigma as bad parents, there might be people who have not been in trouble with the law who want to learn strategies to make sure their children grow up on the right side of the law.”
The status also means those working to address anti-social behaviour will also be expected to meet the public in “face the people sessions” to make themselves accessible and learn what problems need addressing.
Mr Solomon said he was also keen to stress how easy it is for people to report anti-social behaviour by phone or via the one-Ipswich website at www.oneipswich.com.
Anti-social behaviour forms can be completed at any Co-op store, or housing office in the town.
Alternatively call the multi-lingual free phone line on 0800 138 65760, the local rate number on 0800 6052222, or send a photograph of anti-social behaviour, such as damage or litter to 07739 888558, texting the word Ipswich and a short description.
Have you been a victim of anti-social behaviour? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org