Project helps reduce antisocial behaviour by three-quarters on estate
PUBLISHED: 14:36 06 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:45 06 March 2020
A project to reduce antisocial behaviour on an Ipswich estate could be rolled out elsewhere after police saw offences fall by almost two-thirds last summer.
Overall reports have fallen almost a third across the county over the last year to 8,526 - compared to a three-year average of 12,684.
Police said a project launched in 2017 to reduce incidents over the summer months had helped cut activity by 72% in Chantry estate.
Operation Parkland was launched by police in July 2017 to target hot-spots in the summer holidays in Ipswich, Hadleigh, Felixstowe and Woodbridge.
The Ipswich West safer neighbourhood team worked with the Co-op, county council and borough council on the Chantry estate, where a sports and engagement focussed project brought together 43 children identified as at risk of causing antisocial behaviour.
Opportunities for the project to be rolled out elsewhere in Suffolk and Essex are currently being explored, according to a report into the constabulary's approach to children and young people.
Inspector Becky Kidd Stanton, from the south policing area neighbourhood and partnership team, said officers had tried to take a problem solving approach based on the needs of residents.
She said some areas had been targeted for attention following feedback from community engagement officers, local councillors and reports through non-emergency channels like 101 and the force website.
She said the project's success relied on working with local authorities and community safety partnerships.
"We recognise antisocial behaviour has a massive impact on quality of life," she added.
"It's a massive issue for some people. We want people to feel safe in their communities."
Insp Kidd Stanton said police were trying to nip the problem in the bud by working with the families of individuals with poor school attendance records and by using legislation like closure orders on 'cuckooed' properties taken over by drug dealers, community protection notices imposing specific sanctions on individuals, and community resolutions between the parties involved.
She added: "Very often, we hear people have witnessed antisocial behaviour but haven't reported it.
"If we're not aware of it, we can't respond to it, so I'd urge people to report it."
Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said he was delighted by news of the decline, but said he would ask the constabulary to look into any correlative shift towards behaviour moving off the streets and onto digital media platforms.
Mr Passmore donated grant funding towards the Porch Project, which also helped antisocial behaviour levels halve in Great Cornard through supporting young people to make positive life choices.
He said that providing opportunities for young people was crucial in continuing the reduction.
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Police have issued the following advice of recognising the signs of cuckooing - when drug dealers take over the homes of vulnerable people as a base for criminal activities.
Signs that cuckooing may be taking place at a property include:
-An increase in people entering and leaving
-An increase in cars or bikes outside
-An increase in antisocial behaviour
-Increasing litter outside
-People coming and going at strange times
-Damage to the door, or the door propped open
-Unknown people pressing buzzers to gain access to the building
As well as cuckooking, antisocial activity may include:
-Alcohol abuse (drunkenness, intimidation, street drinking)
-Drug use or activity
-Littering, graffiti, fly-tipping or vandalism
-Noise, including general bad language and abuse
-Youth nuisance problems
If you are a council tenant experiencing problems as a result of antisocial behaviour, you can report it to the borough council on 01473 433325 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To report antisocial behaviour to the police, call 101 or visit suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something. In an emergency, call 999.
Contact Crimestoppers anonymously at crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling 0800 555111.