Westmorland and Furness Council has joined a national campaign to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) and keep residents in Westmorland and Furness safe.
Running from 3-9 July, ASB Awareness Week 2023 aims to encourage communities to take a stand against anti-social behaviour and highlight the actions that can be taken by those experiencing it.
Organised by Resolve, the UK’s leading ASB and community safety organisation, the week features a series of events across the UK involving councils, police forces, housing associations, charities, community groups and sports clubs.
Westmorland and Furness Council’s Safe and Strong Communities Team has been involved in ‘street safe’ operations during the week of action.
Through these operations confidential questionnaires gather evidence which can be used to identify those causing ASB and support people who are victims of the consequences of ASB.
ASB patrols have been carried out throughout the week targeting issues including abandoned vehicles and nuisance behaviour.
Recent YouGov research commissioned by Resolve found that almost 1 in 5 people have had to consider moving home because of the impact ASB was having on them; with 1 in 10 even feeling it necessary to move. Despite this, over half of those surveyed who were either a victim of, or witness to, ASB did not report the ASB.
Westmorland and Furness Council is urging members of the public not to suffer in silence if they experience ASB.
Police are encouraging anyone who feels that they are experiencing ASB to report it to them by calling 101, or through the police ASB report form.
Police will often then involve the council’s Safe and Strong Communities anti-social behaviour team as part of the response.
One email received by Westmorland and Furness Council highlights the effectiveness of this partnership working, with a resident thanking council officers this week for their ‘timely and thorough reply’, adding: “A council enforcement officer visited the property yesterday morning (Tue 4th) and spoke with the occupants, Obviously I'm not privy with what was discussed but again I'm delighted with the "hands on" and prompt approach of the engagement.”
A street safe operation was also carried out in Barrow this week with officers from the council’s Safe and Strong Team and neighbourhood policing officers addressing concerns around ASB on a usually quiet residential street.
Councillor Judith Derbyshire, Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet member for Housing and Homelessness, said: “We realise the significant distress and harm that can be caused by ongoing ASB and the detrimental effect that this can have on communities and the lives of our residents.
“Our teams readily engage with perpetrators of ASB and strive to resolve issues for residents through education, support, and enforcement. Our vision is to make Westmorland and Furness a great place to live, work and thrive in a safe environment.”
Rebecca Bryant OBE, Chief Executive of Resolve, added: “ASB is not low-level. It can have a devastating and long-lasting impact on the lives of victims and communities and can be a precursor to more serious crime.
“It is important that the challenge of ASB continues to be given the priority it needs so that people everywhere feel safe in their homes and communities.
“We are delighted that Westmorland and Furness Council is supporting this hugely important campaign. It is vital to develop partnership approaches across communities to deal with the growing challenges around ASB."