Partnership approach to tackle anti-social behavior at Barnstaple

A partnership that includes the North Devon Council is working together to tackle Antisocial Behavior (ASB) in Barnstaple town center.

Officers from the North Devon Council and the local Devon and Cornwall Police team gathered in Barnstaple town center on Monday 6 December to visit places which are regularly the site of reports of ASB and crimes. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the way forward for the partnership in tackling the negative behaviors that led to the establishment of a renewed and revised Public Spaces Protection Ordinance (PSPO) in January.

The partnership – which also includes Barnstaple Town Center Management (BTCM), the North Devon and Torridge Community Safety Partnership and the Barnstaple CCTV Control Room – aims to reduce incidents of antisocial behavior, including alcohol consumption on the street. , drug use, aggressive begging, and urinating and defecating in public.

Some of the activities carried out to combat anti-social behavior are:

  • regular council and police patrols in areas identified as having a problem with antisocial behavior
  • Accredited officers (including civil enforcement officers, whose role is to look after the parking of cars in the district) enforcing the PSPO by issuing perpetrators with fixed penalty notices of up to £ 100
  • homeless support from the council’s homeless outreach team, ensuring that anyone who sleeps rough or leads a street lifestyle understands the help available to them
  • visits to businesses in downtown Barnstaple to discuss any issues impacting their business and find ways to support them. This includes the Barnstaple Shopnet radio program, which aims to enable Barnstaple businesses and retailers to communicate effectively on issues such as crime and anti-social behavior.
  • pilot of the online tool Streetsafe; a way for anyone to anonymously report to the police public places where they have felt or felt unsafe, due to environmental issues (e.g. street lighting, abandoned buildings or vandalism) and / or due to certain behaviors (for example, being followed or verbally assaulted)

The partnership has stepped up activity in the city center in the run-up to Christmas, which sees an increase in anti-social behavior in the city center. This is largely attributed to an increase in alcohol consumption during the holiday season. The partnership says it’s time to remind residents of the terms of the PSPO (also applies to downtown Ilfracombe), which includes a specific condition on alcohol, giving council or police reasons to ” require a person not to consume alcohol in the designated area. , and return their alcohol if requested.

Barnstaple Town Center Manager Hannah Harrington says: “Antisocial behavior can have a very detrimental impact on how people enjoy the downtown area, not to mention their lives. Working with other agencies like the police to tackle behaviors such as drug addiction, aggressive begging and making people feel harassed is essential. We are working hard to reduce ASBs in the city center and will continue to support businesses to help them do the same. By taking a partnership approach, we aim to improve the quality of life and experience for all residents, businesses and visitors to downtown Barnstaple. “

Devon and Cornwall Police Inspector for Barnstaple, Andy Wills said: ‘Sadly, substance abuse drives a lot of anti-social behavior, crime and street begging. that we see in our streets. As Christmas approaches, we anticipate an increase in alcohol consumption, and with it, an increase in ASB and crime.

“While crime can be viewed as both symptom and disease, it is essential that we take a multi-agency approach that takes into account the needs of the community to identify and address social, health, economic issues. It is also important to ensure that we target our resources effectively to impose both sanctions and remedies where appropriate.

“We do regular patrols in downtown Barnstaple, but we also ask the community – who are the eyes and ears of the police – to be vigilant and to help us. People can report information or community intelligence about offenders or offenses, anonymously if necessary. , via the force’s website. This may be the last piece of the puzzle we need to take action. “

Further information on PSPO antisocial behavior in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe is available on the council’s website at www.northdevon.gov.uk/community-safety-and-emergencies/anti-social-behaviour. Full details of all PSPOs in place in the district can be found at www.northdevon.gov.uk/business/north-devon-legal-services/public-space-protection-orders-pspos.

Non-urgent matters can be reported to the police by email, online chat, or the 101 hotline if necessary. The live wait time for 101 calls can be viewed by visiting www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/contact.

About Rhonda Lee

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