Hearts and minds drive to tackle antisocial behaviour in Hartlepool

Incident reporting and greater interaction with young people were some of the key topics raised to the council as part of their bid to crackdown on antisocial behaviour.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 11:45 pm
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 1:42 pm
Hartlepool Civic Centre
Hartlepool Civic Centre

It came as Hartlepool Borough Council Audit and Governance Committee heard the feedback from community engagement around their investigation into antisocial behaviour.

The engagement came though drop-in sessions, library and community hub sessions, along with visits to elderly residential accommodation and speaking with young people.

Councillors said they received ‘very positive’ reports from residents for several areas of the support they provide to victims.

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Joan Stevens, statutory scrutiny officer at the council, highlighted some of the most common issues raised among residents they spoke to.

These included issues over the best way to report incidents, a greater interaction with young people, ensuring parental responsibility and more ways for elderly residents to report incidents.

She said: “We really have made every effort to try and engage with the public as part of this.

“The areas that come through on a recurring basis have been around better intelligence sharing, better detail of what is available as well, it’s been about an easier way to get through to 101 and a better response time from 101.

“It’s been about more preventative activities, across the board not just for young people but for parents and adults as well.

“We’ve also been made aware the residents need to feel more confident in reporting and that came across very strongly as part of the engagement activities, that there is a feeling ‘why do we bother’.

“It seems to be once you get past the reporting and get activity the survey shows people have been relatively happy with the outcomes they receive, it’s that first stage of getting in there.”

It was also raised how often police and council staff will take action over incidents which residents may not be aware of, and the importance of ensuring residents know the best way to contact someone.

However there were a number of areas praised by residents in Hartlepool.

Ms Stevens said: “There are a number of things that came forward very strongly about what worked and what’s going really well, things that include the victim support service came through shiningly in the conversations we had.

“Community safety team and police, that sort of joint arrangement, people were impressed with that.

“The prosecutions and behaviour orders people thought were a good thing, lets keep them in place and lets utilise all of the powers we have to enable us to put in some repercussions for people and to deal with it in communities that are affected.”

Coun Lesley Hamilton, who spoke to residents in carrying out the investigation, said there was a lot of praise for work the council is doing.

She said: “All the people we’ve spoken to where we’ve sat down with members of the public, those members of the public that were supported, certainly by council staff, were very, very impressed and very grateful.

“They were also quite sympathetic to the fact that as a council we are very tight in our resources.

“Most people were very impressed and very grateful. A lot of the information and reports we got back were very positive.”