This post was written in collaboration with our Anti social behaviour specialist, Tracy Jones.
Anti-social behaviour is having a major impact on communities – from youths hanging around on street corners, neighbours using intimidating and threatening behaviour, through to some of the most serious criminal activity by drug gangs and the exploitation of vulnerable children through ‘county lines’.
None of us working in ASB doubt the impact even the lowest level, persistent ASB has on victims. As an ASB officer earlier in my career, I would sit with those who had their lives devastated by sustained ASB, sometimes over many years, and their pain was all too real.
I have plenty of examples of where perpetrators have been brought to justice, some facing a jail term as a result of their actions. Unfortunately, though, the reality still is that for every victory, many cases are not resolved, or not resolved quickly enough for the victims.
According to the latest Crime Survey for England and Wales, 37% of people report having personally experienced or witnessed antisocial behaviour in their community – the highest percentage recorded since this data was first collected. What this illustrates for me is that despite our efforts, this is a problem which is getting worse rather than better and much more needs to be done to stem this upward trend.
I think, we need to start by looking more closely at what training is available – how consistent it is and how easily practitioners are able to access training, given their rising caseloads and the limited resources across many teams.
We also need to look at the confusion which often occurs when it comes to deciding which agency is best placed to take the lead in ASB cases and which tool or intervention is the most appropriate for a situation. Local authority ASB and housing departments, social landlords and the police all have a part to play when it comes to tackling ASB and each have a range of tools they are able to deploy. These range from preventative measures, early intervention, right through to legal remedies.
Partnership working is the key to successfully tackling ASB in an area. So it is essential that agencies are able to effectively collaborate, to maximise resources and deliver shared outcomes.
When I was working as an ASB manager for a local authority a considerable amount of my time was spent training the team on ASB, including new starters and agency workers because I wanted them to be confident and clear about expectations and how ASB should be tackled in our area.
To help practitioners, housing officers, neighbourhood police and call handlers, Me Learning, is developing a suite of digital learning materials with two leading organisations within the local authority and social housing sector in the Greater Manchester area.
The training is purposely designed so it can be tailored to meet the needs of different agencies working in ASB – not just local authorities but also police forces and social landlords. The training raises awareness of what works and what doesn’t for practitioners, but it also explains how the existing tools can be deployed in different situations.
It is available in digital format, which means learners can access it via an internet connection which makes learning both consistent and easy to fit around other priorities. It is also a cost-effective solution which can support current face-to-face training.
To find out more how Me Learning can help meet your ASB training requirements, contact us – email@example.com.