Suffolk businesses urged to report ‘growing problem’ of anti-social behaviour

From left, back: Tash Wightman, YMCA; Lee Hammond, Co-op Secure Response; George Vestey, High Sherif

From left, back: Tash Wightman, YMCA; Lee Hammond, Co-op Secure Response; George Vestey, High Sheriff of Suffolk; Scott Walker, Co-op Secure Response; Fiona Radnor, YMCA; and Claire Prosser, locality officer at Suffolk County Council. Front: Superintendent Kerry Cutler; host Jonathan Wills, presenter of ITV News Anglia at 6pm; Alison Newbon, Youth Justice Service; and Design Out Crime Officer, Lucy Mures Picture: ROB HOWARTH - Credit: Archant

Suffolk businesses are focusing on ways of tackling anti-social behaviour following a survey which showed nearly half of them felt it was a growing problem in the county.

More than 100 firms and organisations took part in a conference at Wherestead, near Ipswich, aimed at tackling the problem.

The event, entitled Building Safer and Thriving Communities, involved experts from Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and Co-op Secure Response, which carried out the survey on anti-social behaviour.

MORE - Ipswich construction firm celebrates as turnover soars to nearly £87mIt found 45% of businesses felt it was a growing problem in Suffolk. More than a quarter (26%) saw it as a ‘very big’ or ‘quite a big’ problem, and two fifths (41%) had experienced it in the last year, but more than a quarter (26%) don’t report it.

Delegates were encouraged to report problems and work together.

Suffolk Constabulary’s Superintendent Kerry Cutler, Design Out Crime Officer Lucy Mures and Co-op Secure Response anti-social behaviour officer Scott Walker offered expert advice on how to tackle bad behaviour.

Superintendent Cutler encouraged people to come forward. “When people report it, it helps us to make decisions about how to prioritise and deploy our resources,” she said.

High Sheriff of Suffolk George Vestey said: “We are all part of the community and we all have to do our bit. Having more people who step up and become part of the force for good within the community and creating better links between partners will be the key in tackling anti-social behaviour.”

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Suffolk County Council’s locality officer in Ipswich, Claire Prosser, said one of the challenges was perception. “We recently carried out a safety survey across Suffolk with students in Year 6, and what they told us is that they feel anxious about anti-social behaviour perpetrated by adults. There is a big perception that anti-social behaviour is only carried out by young people and that is one of the challenges we face.”

Businesses also heard about how Co-op Secure Response is working to reduce incidents, and ways in which local business can play an active role. “We look at prevention and education – we work with the local community and show how people are affected by anti-social behaviour,” said Mr Walker.

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