Anti-social behaviour, (ASB), ranges from nuisance to criminal activity, it impacts on people’s quality of life and affects all neighbourhoods.
The term Anti-social behaviour refers to a range of behaviours:
- Fly tipping
- Dog mess
- Personal nuisance such as neighbour disputes and noise
It also includes criminal offences such as harassment, arson and criminal damage. Locally, the level of ASB incidents has remained fairly stable since last year, despite an initial increase during the first lockdown period. There has been an 50% increase in incidents reported to the police nationally have resulted in the national average rate being higher than Portsmouth for the first time in a decade.
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.