Young people in Hartlepool call for restorative activities to clampdown on anti-social behaviour

Young people in Hartlepool have called for anti-social behaviour issues in the town to be tackled by arranging more activities for youths and using restorative activities.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 4:29 pm
Hartlepool Civic Centre

Hartlepool Borough Council Audit and Governance Committee has been carrying out an investigation into anti-social behaviour in the town throughout the municipal year.

Hartlepool’s Youth Council has taken part in the investigation, designing their own questionnaire to ask other young people about their experiences of anti-social behaviour in Hartlepool.

Results from the questionnaire showed young people are calling for more activities to be arranged in the town as the number one answer to help tackle anti-social behaviour.

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They also showed more than half of those who responded want perpetrators to have to take actions to put right harm caused by their behaviour, with other popular options including more education on the issue.

Findings from the questionnaire, which had 56 respondents, are to be presented to the Audit and Governance Committee at its meeting next week as part of the wider study.

A report ahead of the meeting compared the conclusions and findings to those reached by adults in consultations over the topic.

It said: “There was a marked difference in how the two groups thought that anti-social behaviour should be tackled.

“The young people advocated perpetrators should be made to take personal responsibility for their behaviour by putting right the harm they had caused and be made to understand the consequences of their behaviour for the wider community.

“Conversely, the adults felt that the authorities should be doing more through proactive preventative work and harsher punishments.

“Whilst both groups also identified young people as being the cause of much of the anti-social behaviour in Hartlepool, the young people felt that this was unfair and more should be done to show young people in a positive light.”

As part of the survey young people were also asked to rank the level of anti-social behaviour in their local area on a scale of one to ten (with 1 being low level and 10 being high level).

Over half of respondents felt the level of anti-social behaviour in their area was at the higher end of the scale (7, 8 or 10) with 7 being the most popular rating.

One fifth of young people identified rubbish and litter as the biggest problems, which tallies with the public survey which also identified it as the biggest problem.

However the youth council survey highlighted people dealing drugs and people drinking/being drunk in the street as the second biggest problem, compared to groups hanging around in the street or public places in the public survey.

The young people said overwhelmingly they felt they were blamed for anti-social behaviour.

This contrasts to the annual Safer Hartlepool Partnership Strategic Assessment which identifies that two thirds of all reported anti-social behaviour incidents are carried out by adults.