If you are experiencing problems and feel that you are in danger please contact Northumbria Police or you may find these sections on Information Now useful.
How is anti social behaviour being tackled in Newcastle?
There are many ways that anti-social behaviour is being tackled, both locally and nationally. This section explains some of the ways in which organisations are working together to try and make our communities as safe as possible.
Safe Neighbourhoods Action and Problem Solving (SNAPS) groups
Often it’s local people who know better than anyone what is going on in their neighbourhood. Because of this, Safe Neighbourhoods Action and Problem Solving (SNAPS) groups have been set up in each ward in Newcastle, with a dedicated team working together to solve problems in each area.
These groups consist of staff from all of the relevant organisations involved in crime and community safety issues and local people.
For more information, contact Safe Newcastle
Closed-circuit television (CCTV)
CCTV cameras are used across Newcastle to tackle hot spot areas of crime and anti-social behaviour, as well as environmental issues such as fly tipping. These cameras have significantly reduced crime and worked as deterrents to prevent burglary and racist attacks, resulting in an increase in community confidence. The cameras also give evidence to support arrests.
Visit newcastle.gov.uk for more information.
Police tools and powers
In recent years, a wide range of tools to tackle anti-social behaviour have been made available for the authorities to use. They have helped to change the culture around anti-social behaviour; making clear that it is a serious issue and that anti-social behaviour will be tackled and not tolerated.
Some of the more commonly used tools and powers are described below.
Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABCs)
This is a written agreement between the person who has been causing the problems and their local authority or police. These contracts are designed to give those involved the chance to acknowledge their actions, and to take responsibility for the impact they’ve had on others. In some cases, this simple agreement can stop the bad behaviour at an early stage.
These contracts explain that the activity must not continue, and explain what will happen if the contract is broken. They aren’t legally binding, but they can be referred to in court if the behaviour continues.
Fixed penalty notices and penalty notices for disorder are one-off fines. Fixed penalty notices are generally issued for environmental crimes like littering, graffiti, or noise nuisances.
Penalty notices for disorder are issued for more serious offences, like throwing fireworks, selling alcohol to underage buyers, or being drunk and disorderly in public. They can be issued to anyone over 16 years old, and the amount of the fine will depend on the behaviour involved.
Anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs)
An ASBO is a court order banning anti-social behaviour, or preventing entry into an area where problems have occurred. The rules and restrictions of each ASBO are specific to the crimes involved, and they remain in place for a minimum of two years.
ASBOs are not criminal penalties, so they won’t appear on a police record. However, not obeying the rules of an ASBO is a crime, and it can result in a fine or imprisonment.
Groups can be forced to leave an area and not return if they are regularly loud, disruptive or destructive. The ‘area’ in question can be anything from the space around a cash point to a whole neighbourhood, or even a local authority region, as long as there is strong evidence that those involved have been destructive and intimidating.
If a dispersal order is issued, the local authority must agree to it and the decision must be published in a local newspaper or in notices posted in the area. After that, the people involved will not be able to return to the location for the length of time set out in the order, which could be months or years.
Other Useful Information
- Anti-social behaviour in housing – factsheet from Age UK
Last updated: July 31, 2018