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What can be done to tackle anti-social behaviour?

The Police and South Derbyshire District Council have a number of tools and powers available to help to tackle anti-social behaviour. The action taken depends on the nature of the incident/s and the evidence that is provided. This is not an exhaustive list but provides details of some of the tools available.

Warning letters / home visits

We can write formal warning letters or make warning visits to anyone who we can prove has been engaging in anti-social behaviour.

Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs)

These are voluntary contracts that can be used with an individual regardless of their age. An ABC is a contract made with an individual who has been engaging in nuisance behaviour and contains a list of behaviour / acts that they agree to stop. The contract is made between the individual, Anti-Social Behaviour Officer and the Police. If an individual signs up to an ABC and then carries on engaging in anti-social behaviour then we can apply to the courts for an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO).

As part of the ABC agreement individuals have to meet month;y with the Police's Youth Involvement Officer and ASB Officer to ensure that they are complying with the terms of the contract

ASB Warnings at the Police Station

Low level perpetrators of ASB who are starting to cause issues in the community, will be invited into the Police Station to meet with the ASB Officer and the Police Youth Involvement Officer.  They will warned about their behaviour and told of the consequences of continued ASB.  If the perpetrators are juveniles, parents/carers will also be present at the meetings.

Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs)

This is an order that can be used on anyone ten years old and over who has engaged in anti-social behaviour. The order is imposed on an individual by the court. The order states what types of behaviour the individual cannot be involved in. An Anti-Social Behaviour Order can also impose a curfew on an individual, stop them from associating with certain people and prohibit them from going into certain areas. An anti-social behaviour order lasts for a minimum of two years. Breach of an order is a criminal offence, which can result in a custodial sentence and/or a fine.

Parenting Orders

Parenting Orders can be given to the parents or carers of young people who engage in anti-social behaviour or who offend. A Parenting Order can also be imposed on a parent or guardian of a child under ten years old who has failed to attend school or who is subject to a Child Safety Order. The order involves attendance at counselling or guidance sessions plus other requirements, for example ensuring that the child is properly supervised etc. Failure to comply with an order without a reasonable excuse can be treated as a criminal offence and the parents or guardians can be prosecuted and fined.

Injunctions

Injunctions can be made by the courts to prevent someone from engaging in nuisance. Anyone who receives an injunction can be prohibited from engaging in future acts of anti-social behaviour or from entering certain areas.  If the terms of an injunction are broken, the perpetrator could receive a prison sentence or a fine.

Criminal proceedings

If a crime has been committed, such as an act of vandalism, the Police may charge the perpetrator and take them to court. In more serious cases a perpetrator could receive a prison sentence.

Possession

Our housing department has powers to seek possession of a tenant's home if they keep breaking the conditions of their tenancy despite warnings. Possession is a serious step and we need evidence before evicting someone from their home.

Mediation

Mediation can help to resolve neighbour disputes. Trained mediators are able to meet with each party to try and reach an agreement.

Designing out crime

One way of tackling and reducing anti-social behaviour is by improving the local environment in order to promote respect for an area and make it feel safer. This can include measure such as cutting back overgrown areas, removing graffiti and litter.  Areas can be less likely to attract anti-social behaviour and crime through 'target hardening'. This includes CCTV installation, alley gating and increased lighting.

 

page ref: SDDC 448