Efforts to reduce anti-social behaviour are proving effective in Teignbridge, with the council and police’s successful partnership approach being applauded by Teignbridge Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
The committee was presented with the facts about ASBOs in Teignbridge, with details of partnership activity, video testimonials from victims and statistics on reoffending all demonstrating a pro-active and common-sense approach to tackling anti-social behaviour.
There are currently 13 ASBOS in place in Teignbridge, with the average age of holders being 43. There are no current orders involving juveniles as Teignbridge’s sole ASBO on a young person expired in January 2010 after a dramatic change in behaviour. Of those currently subject to ASBOs, nine of the 13 have not come to the attention of the council or police after their ASBOs have been granted.
Work to tackle the issue of anti-social behaviour demonstrates the power of effective partnership working with the Council, Police, Registered Social Landlords, the NHS, South Hams District Council, West Devon Borough Council, the Youth Offending Team, Devon Youth Service, the Fire Service, Connexions and the British Transport Police all contributing to the local South Devon Community Safety Partnership.
Over the last six months 97 per cent of the interventions made by Teignbridge Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Officer have been successful, with the individual not coming to the attention of authorities again. Interventions have included letters, acceptable behaviour contacts and diversionary activities. ASBOs and Closure Orders (which can be used to close properties and remove offenders from their homes for a set amount of time up to three months) remain the last resorts if other interventions fail and behaviour can not be changed.
Teignbridge Council also leads a Multi-Agency Response Team (MART), and if there is a spike in anti-social behaviour linked to a specific location, the MART takes action to tackle it quickly. The results of this taskforce were presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, giving details of the three locations in Teignbridge which have been subject to a MART response, and how incidents had dropped from the previous two months to the month after action was taken. In Heathfield this saw a drop from 21 incidents to two, in Buckland a drop from 22 to six, and finally in Buckfastleigh from six to one.
The council has worked with partners on a number of initiatives including signing up over 100 driving instructors to encourage social driving with new drivers, delivering a range of Community Action Days where agencies get together to visit local households and provide free advice, and a Name That Tag campaign to tackle graffiti and help catch offenders.
Cllr Marie Jenkins, Teignbridge Executive spokesperson for Communities and Regulation told the Devon Week: “Crime in Teignbridge has dropped every year for the past six, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the South Devon Community Safety Partnership. By working together we’re delivering real results which can change people’s lives for the better, and we plan to keep developing this work to make Teignbridge even safer.
“The aptly named Overview and Scrutiny Committee plays a vital role in examining aspects of the council’s work in some depth, so we were pleased that Members gave such a warm response to this important work. Whatever the future holds for measures such as ASBOs, which may change as part of shifts in national legislation, local people can be reassured that we’ll continue to work closely together and effectively for their benefit.”
(from a press release)