Anti Social Behaviour

Anti-social behaviour, (ASB), ranges from nuisance to criminal activity, it impacts on people’s quality of life and affects all neighbourhoods.

Our aim:

The aim of the Safer Portsmouth Partnership is to make residents feel their neighbourhood is a safe place to live and visit. Reducing anti-social behaviour has been identified as a priority for the residents of Portsmouth.

Why this is a priority

Continued local research shows the distinction between victims and perpetrators is blurred, significant increases in rough sleeping and links to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

What we know:

Past analysis of complex cases of anti-social behaviour has identified a range of associated risk factors (mental health, substance misuse, persistent offending, domestic abuse, child abuse/neglect, learning disabilities) and a blurring of the distinction between victims and perpetrators. We know from academic research with users of homeless services that 85% of those using low-threshold homeless services reported childhood trauma in their lives (sexual abuse, loss, physical abuse or neglect), yet often the language used to describe these most challenging cases – abusive, uncooperative, failure to engage – does not recognise this. If we see these adults through the same lens as we see children who have been exploited or abused, we can begin to develop a different understanding about what ‘support’ may look like and begin to change the ‘victim blaming’ language often used to describe them.

Co-ordination of the operational response to reduce rough sleeping and problematic begging across the city has improved and includes a range of different services – community wardens, police and substance misuse services now work together. Important data has been gathered from people that used the night shelter – the majority of whom are Portsmouth residents – using this will help us improve services for the homeless and reduce rough sleeping. The voluntary sector continues to improve the co-ordination of their contributions but when we are unable to support people, enforcement action is taken as a last resort. Multiple meetings have been streamlined and duplication reduced.

What we will prioritise for the next two years:

The partnership will continue to work together to reduce instances of anti-social behaviour  by intervening early, diverting people away from antisocial activity, and by enforcing the law where this is appropriate. Partners approved a business case to co-ordinate existing work streams in June 2017. Supported housing services have been carefully reviewed from the perspective of the clients and work undertaken to improve the delivery of drugs services in the city. Whilst the transformation programme for mental health services is part of wider sub-regional work across Portsmouth and South East Hampshire there is a focus on community mental health services becoming integral to new models of care as part of the local offer. The next phase of integration of health and social care services began in 2018.

We will:

  • Work more closely with Southampton
  • Overcome barriers to services sharing the right information and
    prioritising the needs of the client over the organisation
  • Develop and deliver a rough sleeping strategy for the city, which
    is likely to include a night shelter all year round, a rough sleeping
    support team, and locally developed data system to identify,
    support and track the small cohort of vulnerable people that
    continue to cause concern in the community
  • Revise contract specification and re-commission supported
    housing and homelessness services in line with recommendations
    from a detailed review focused on the experience of customers
  • Continue to develop a pathway for people with low level mental
    health needs, increasing the use of peer support from the voluntary
    sector.
  • Develop a psychiatric decision-making unit at Queen Alexandra
    Hospital and the emotionally unstable personality disorder pathway.
  • Continue to work with all service providers to improve the
    experience of the clients with the most prevalent co-existing issues
    – substance misuse, mental health and housing
  • Deliver a comprehensive needs assessment for the armed forces
    community (including veterans) and support the development of
    local services in both voluntary and statutory sectors, to address
    those needs

More information

The Health and Wellbeing Board has included this work in its strategic plan in order to underline the importance of this work, providing additional support
from city leaders responsible for health and social care.