Tackling anti-social behaviour, 29 September 2020

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Webinar transcript

Hello everyone I hope everybody can hear me. My name is Councillor Nesil Caliskan and I'm the Chair of the Local Government Association's Safer and Stronger Communities Board and the Leader of Enfield Council.

Today we'll be discussing the best approaches to tackle Anti-Social Behavior in our communities and we'll also be reflecting on how councils and Police have been tackling anti-social behavior during the Covid period and looking at lessons learned that can be shared. We know that residents, businesses, councils, police and their partners are keen to

protect residents from offenders who can make the lives of those theytarget a misery.

Councillors and I know too well often hear of antisocial behavior referred to as low level crime.

The problem of course with that terminology is that it can sound like we are dismissing the community the palmitive impact that all antisocial behavior can have on its victims and our communities it can affect someone's day-to-day life.

Often when an individual is in their own home and it can have a serious impact on a person's mental health and well-being.

Whilst reports of criminal incidents have fallen during Covid-19. we have seen an increase in the number of reports for anti-social behavior of course there could be a number of reasons for for this  and it's possible that breaches of social distancing measures could be partly responsible for the increase and general tension in the air in our communities during what is of course a very difficult time so today's session has been organized to discuss what more we can do to prevent anti-social behavior to reflect on how the current and social behavior tools and powers are being used particularly during covid- could be done to improve um our collective response.

As you'll see from the agenda we have excellent speakers lined up for today and I'd like to welcome all of our speakers and thank them in advance for taking the time.  We'll begin with our very first speaker Dame Vera Baird, The Victims Commissioner for England and Wales. 

Good to unmute myself first I hope I'm now sharing my slides and and being visible  is that correct. 

Good afternoon everybody this is the view from the Victims Commissioner and so let me tell you about the Victims Commissioner role in a couple of seconds you can see at the bottom of this second slide that my job is to promote the role of victims and witnesses and encourage good practice in their treatment and keep under review the operation of the victims code. The victims code is quite a criminal justice orientated code so they're my core obligations.

Next you might think I would put up a slide with my powers on it as Victims Commissioner and if I tried to do that it would be empty because I don't have any powers at all so we operate by trying to drive the agenda. you see before you buy making axis arrangements we keep very closely linked to victims and their organsations because it isn't what Vera Baird thinks victims want it is what they tell me they want and we do get some access to ministers to be able to lobby so sometimes we're able to bring about change and one technique we use to try to do so is to do research reports about themes and in 2019 my predecessor as victims commissioner did with these people a report about anti social behavior called "Living a Nightmare" and it found out some key victims experiences and I think much of it is summed up frankly from the quote at the top.  

Importantly when this report was made there was a survey done and 38 percent of people in britain said that they'd either witnessed closely or personally experienced anti-social behavior that was at the time the highest since the office of national statistics began recording this figure.  This March You Gov just before lockdown showed that 61 percent of people felt more was needed to be done to tackle anti-social behavior in their own locale and 39 saying it had got worse.  What I wanted to emphasize was the point our hostess has just made which is that  there is and I emphasize that iI don't mean Andy Prophet who's following, who is excellent and dynamic but police generally can see anti -social behavior as kind of sub and my spade is stolen that will be a crime but it's not really going to fundamentally undermine the way I live my life but anti-social behavior when you know somebody is at home say they have a hedge behind it young people sit and drink their beer chuck their cans into the garden people kick a ball against the gable end regularly they stamp on the plants they chuck the leftovers of their food into the garden even at the window and if you go out to complain they shout abuse at you then very very soon this is seriously going to undermine you. I

t is not low level in terms of its impact on an individual  - people feel targeted and people quite often are targeted for their vulnerability but it can radically change the way that they live their lives and stop them from feeling comfortable at home even to the extent that quite often they have to move.

My predecessor's report found from a good range of research that victims felt pushed from pillar to post  and no one agency to whom they had resort taking any real charge.  

There was a specific complaint about 101 as a police number but let me come back to that later.

It is possible that this kind of behavior in an unruly area is a symptom of more serious crime so it shouldn't be disregarded for that reason but essentially the cumulative effect of anti-social behavior is important and the risk is that the police do regard it as sub crime record, only an isolated incident that might be called a crime and never therefore get the full picture.

So we follow on from my predecessor's report with the item that she wanted to champion and I want to champion too and I would be very keen to gain your support for. So there is a thing called a Community Trigger - I have to say this is I think the third time i've talked with LGA backing and the first time rather less than a year ago although it was councillors who were well appraised about anti-social behavior very very few of them had ever heard of the Community Trigger.  

So it came about in the 2015 legislation but it wasn't being used at all really by the time we wrote this report in 2019 and it still is very very scantily being used.  It is intended to empower the citizen who's being disempowered by becoming a victim of anti-social behavior if their situation passes the threshold which is three qualifying complaints of anti-social behavior causing harassment alarm or distress which is the upper definition of the two in statute then they can require an ASB case review and all of the relevant bodies must meet together and name this problem.

The relevant bodies are like certain the police certainly local authority almost certainly housing and possibly health input too.

The idea is that you have been pushed from pillar to post or you haven't got satisfaction through your three complaints to any of the relevant bodies and now you can require them all to come together and tackle it in a unified way. So that's how it should work but it hasn't really worked and argument that its use not its nature is not fit for purpose so over the period when the review was being done by  my predecessor over the period since the report was produced and I've taken it forward it is clear that what continues is a lack of knowledge and understanding about the Community Trigger at all by police, by local authorities, by housing. Local authorities and PCCsare supposed to advertise the Community Trigger and inform victims when they are coming to the threshold of the Community Trigger but only three percent of people had ever heard of the Community Trigger.

That's somewhat out of date now but there is nothing in the data to suggest that it has changed so there is no real transparency about how you go about getting a Community Trigger. The threshold which I set out clearly nonetheless can be varied by local authority to local authority so that itself is about when it can be activated and many peole in Northumberland where I used to function they found that every application for the Community Trigger and there weren't many we're below the threshold.

Well that is pretty unlikely to be the case and so there isn't I think the right clarity about it. Look at the bottom spot on that slide victims should be at the resolution meetings and although some guidance says the Home office setup said that they should be too they are not as a rule invited.

When I talk about as a rule I really have to say that the application of the Community Trigger programme has been so slight that in many local authorities the number of applications for it are in single figures and at the last count in over one-third of local authorities there's never been one at all but certainly victims should be there otherwise you are in danger as the second bottom spot here says of just the public having the view that the local authority gets together with the other two to say that how can we deal with this nusiance and he's not you know nobody is reviewing what's happened before we have ascertained that a councillor can apply for a Community Trigger on behalf of their constituent or an MP can do so and we really advocate that independent representation be made available so that victims not only go but they are represented there probably by their MP or somebody from the local authority or if they can be brought into this funding which victims of antisocial behavior are not at the moment let me emphasize but that was another recommendation of my predecessor's report then people like victims support who are ideal could drive this agenda to use the Community Trigger and could represent people there and our suggestion too was that the ward councillor should be the person who chairs this Community Trigger event so that the interests of the ward which is being affected by anti-social behavior  is being at the forefront of the meeting so that in a nutshell there is that it's it's not working it's not being taken up and it's it's pretty important that it should be.  

Here is Elizabeth's story she had a four-year campaign there were by a neighbor five warnings served on that neighbor tried to activate the trigger but was told she didn't meet the standard which is completely inconsistent with five warnings.

She eventually got a Community Trigger but wasn't allowed to be present at the resolution hearing and it made insufficient difference for her ultimately having to take her family away to get away from this individual and when we did the report  I hope it's not still the case the perpetrator had followed them and continued to harass her at her workplace.

So an attempt which didn't succeed I really want to urge everybody to do what they can to make the Community Trigger effective.

I'm not saying it's the silver bullet but prior to the two three years of research amongst academics around the victims area all concluding that this was a good tool to establish and to use and it's never been properly used at all and so let's see if we can take it forward  and give it a good try for a couple of years and if it doesn't prove to be effective well then we will have to think again.

So 16 months after the report done by my predecessor which was called not surprisingly "Living a Nightmare" the one thing that's changed is that she got the 101 number made free of charge. 38 percent of people at the time of the report were suffering from anti-social behavior or witnessing it these organizations findings and data including our own show significant increases.

The police reported in April after lockdown a 59 percent increase across the country in anti-social behavior what's not so straightforward about the breaches of covid regulations come into that category of anti-social behavior in some places though I've been trying to say there should be separate reporting it doesn't seem to have taken off but Andy will know better but what I think is very important is that  I have a regular meeting with victims hubs in the PCC areas every two weeks and they show a significant increase of anti-social behavior victims seeking help so I suggest that this suggests it's not Covid related stuff which you know you might report but it's not that likely to be impinging on your own way of life so that you seek help from a victim's hub. So I suggest and I suspect that it has gone up for real anti-social behavior and not just the Covid stuff. Victims Support who run run by PCCa have shown  month on month increases and it's now 44 hits on their website have increased by 161 percent.

In Northumbria you can see a victim's hub usually gets double figures now is getting four or five times that number of anti-social behavior hits.

Avon and Somerset smaller but more than doubled and London itself up by 40 percent so I think all the evidence is that it is up and still we're not doing too much about it so very quickly we decided to write with some anti-social behavior charities to the Home Secretary asking her to implement Living a Nightmare's full recommendations which go beyond the Community Trigger but one of them was that we asked for units to be centrally funded to allow Community Safety Partnerships to tackle to quantify and tackle the quantity anti-social behavior that there was. We call them Nightingale Task Forces because everything that's special to the Covid is called Nightingale it's a court it's a hospital so why not a Nightingale Task Force and we thought that there should be access to those tasks and finished task forces to include legal advice so that we could use every one of the statutory measures as well as the Community Trigger and we felt that the presence just from the nature of some of the complaints that are coming to the victims hubs the presence of mental health services was a very important component in tackling this so we wrote and said so.

We got a reply saying actually up to March last year anti-social behavior was falling. Well we were writing to be honest about since March of last year the Hone Secretary also says they held regular meetings with Andy and I'm sure they do and I expect Andy to tell you about it but not a lot of progress appears nonetheless to be being made. I too with Andy am on a cross departmental committee to tackle anti-social behavior led by the Home Office which doesn't seem to be what my mother would call cutting the mustard and she said that most of the anti-social behavior that's gone up looks like breaches of social distancing measures being reported but as I say that is a quite unlikely thing to drive somebody to go into the arms of victim's support or the victim's hubs in even Somerset, London or in Northumbria so I think it is different.  

The reply also said the Community Trigger allows you to trigger this formal review.

Well yes it does and bodies are required to publish information well yes they are but not a lot of it is happening as I've already said. She acknowledged the need to raise awareness of the Community Trigger and you know jolly good she has refreshed the anti-social behavior pages on Gov UK  to make information on the Community Trigger more accessible so there is a little bit of progress.

So anti-social behavior as our host and I have both said is serious stuff you know it does lead people very often to have to leave homes that they don't want to leave it does even drive people to self-medicate to get away from it, to self-harm sometimes to get away from it. It is distinctly not sub crime there are a lot of recommendations in this report which haven't been actioned which need actioning we want to champion the community trigger and give it a good go a good attempt to see if it can re-empower disempowered victims of anti-social behavior so I should be very glad to join in any thoughts and questions we have.

This is Poppy the most cerebral member of the Baird family and she is my final slide indicating that I look forward to the question time.

Thank you very much Dame Vera I will  invite our second speaker Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet, Essex Police and National Policing Lead for tackling anti-social behavior.

Over to you Andy. 

Thank you very much indeed Chair and hopefully my comms are coming through okay if i can just check at the start perfect thank you and I think one of the amazing team at centre will be playing my slides for me  which is superb - there they go backwards.

So yes good afternoon everybody really really good to chat to you all this afternoon my name is Andy Prohet as the slide says I am an Assistant Chief Constable with Essex Police but I'm also the national Police Chiefs Council lead for ASB.

Kind of why is that important  I've been an officer for 25 years not all of which clearly is as an Assistant Chief Constable my first six years were spent as a Community Officer in a really challenged neighborhood in Essex and I saw every single day the links between crime and anti-social behavior and how that can ruin communities and devastate lives so that is just fundamentally and you know that and I know that this is massively important stuff.

It affects people's lives and can lead to loss of life let's not beat around the bush anti-social behavior can be devastating and so as we move on to the next slide can I just say thank you for what you do and hopefully we'll continue to do in this space. It would seem odd would it not if if the the cop in the room virtually didn't talk about the law so you can see what's written on the screen anti-social behavior was defined back in 1988 the broad point I want to make here is this is a really wide definition and I think deliberately so likely to cause so we have an an obligation to act where things are starting to build to get in there early and to solve problems.

Harassment alarm and distress causing people's life to be less than comfortable when it's to one or more individuals outside the household this is just such important stuff folks we have we have legislation that allows us and expects us to work together to make a difference to people's lives.

Thank you we'll carry on of course it's more than just words as we move on in on to the next slide anti-social behavior is is is something that affects us all from whether it be from graffiti whether it be from youngsters hanging around on street corners through to drug taking in communities through to street drinking homelessness which is a real ongoing and  current challenge neighborhood and street crime but fundamentally victims of anti-social behavior and crime and we know you know we can all remember that tragic case over a decade ago now with Fiona Pilkington where anti-social behavior repeated anti-social behavior caused caused a tragic loss of life this is more than words this is more than words anti-social behavior is more than about the law it's about people feeling safe in their communities and in their home and Dame Vera has quite rightly set the challenge that I will come onto and re-emphasize and we've got to do more together but let let's not mince our words of course we have to be discerning there's a lot of things for us to do but everything I feel about whether it be the Community Trigger whether it be how we work in partnership it's about getting that early intervention in place.

Taking a discerning approach to where we work together to help those individuals and communities most in need and we can make a difference in this space. Thank you we'll move on to the next slide if that's okay.

So just reinforcing the point that was made it's been massively challenging nationally and globally over the last six months and and we're not through this folks are we.

So this is the the England and Wales anti-social behavior data over about the last 12 months and you can see that enormous increase in recorded anti-social behavior from March into the early Summer now that is because this includes anti-social behavior directly linked to issues like social distancing as Dane Vera pointed to so that has undoubtedly  increased the level of anti-social behavior that we understand is happening but as we move on to the next slide and Dame Vera again made this point when you break that down and when you start to take out those incidents that are clearly linked to the coronavirus residual ASB as is highlighted there on the final point is up  the best latest analysis we've got is 10 to 12 percent so we are having more more victims more communities being affected by anti-social behavior irrespective of the coronavirus challenge and when you think about this that makes sense doesn't it it's not okay but it makes sense families at home children and young people with less to do frustration, boredom,  tensions uncertainty lead to antisocial behavior being enacted being seen and all the consequences that can absolutely flow from there I know these are cold hard figures and there's human stories behind this but the data captures the story we think or the stories we are being told by victims there's an absolute correlation there this is not just about coronavirus thereis an increase in ASB.

Thank you let's move on to the next slide.

This is - I couldn't find better words than this this is Dane Vera's predecessor Baroness Newlove who this is I think probably a familiar and a tragic story of how her life was was devastated and you can see the words there 
I mean actually I'm going to read the words because I think the words are powerful. A gang targeted my ordinary working family living in an ordinary ordinary street in an ordinary neighborhood with a campaign of vandalism and violence it culminated with Gary Baroness Newlove's husband being kicked to death on our doorstep and and it seems implausible that 12 years later this was at the time of the Living the Nightmare report I'm still writing about anti-social behavior but the truth is depressingly little has changed.

 ASB is often downplayed as petty low-level crime and it's clearly not we know that but put yourself in their shoes to suffer from ASB is an ordeal that causes misery disturbs sleep anxiety work and relationships leaving victims feeling unsafe and afraid in their own homes leaving people feeling unsafe in their own homes and it can feel like you're living a nightmare.

Powerful words and this is an awful awful case that thankfully is is rare but there are many many many thousands of people feeling anxious in their homes and not feeling safe and that's why I'm determined with you, with Dame Vera with with the Home Office with anybody who can help to make a difference in this space because we we must do.

Thank you we'll move on to the next slide.

Dame Vera has covered much of this - there is an extremely authoritative piece of work - academic rigor from  Nottingham Trent University that really sets out what we need to take forward whether that be influencing and encouraging central government around revisions to the victims code of practice though that a victim of anti-social behavior has the same enshrined rights that a victim of crime does putting anti-social behavior on the same footing as crime because it's not no level is work we are needing to do and are seeking to influence nationally.

We've touched on 101 service it's now a free service but making sure that it's prompt and efficient and effective and supported by good opportunities for digital reporting and digital engagement around anti-social behavior is another key work stream and then really touching into Community Trigger as as Dame Vera has very very clearly set out he recommendation is in this report there  should be a legal requirement on key partners local authorities, Police and  Crime Commissioners, police forces, housing associations and others to prominently display to really show to victims how they can say I'm not happy with how this has been held, how this has been dealt with can I have a review and can I be involved in that review.

Now there are some local authorities, there are some housing associations and so me forces, PCCs who are doing this really well there are more who we've got work to do and this is a key piece of work I think for us and for me to lead with you over the next 12 months to put the Community Trigger and put action in place around around these really important recommendations it needs to be more than just a report.

I'm absolutely certain it's right and we need to make make it actually start to land. Thank you let's move on to the next slide.

So through my office on one of the fantastic voluntary organizations Resolve ASB we have funded in March and August two small about a couple of thousand people each time You Gov surveys so this is some of the latest information that the public and victims are telling us about anti-social behavior

and again you can read them for yourself but some of the headlines I wanted to draw out over half of ASB isn't reported to anybody.

So think back to that slide there's a lot of it and it's got there's an awful lot more of it but half of it isn't probably reported so the problem is even more acute about a third to to four out of ten people saying it's got worse or it continues to be a problem in their area.

Then two really two really significant numbers here to be done and 76 of those who witness ASB saying more needs to be done and then the challenge to us all the challenge to us all here my organisations and your organisations and I know this is tricky work but that we we we need to do better in this space more consistently  and the consistency piece is the real challenge here because you can see that 59, 69 or 72 percent of victims saying that they're not satisfied with the responses at the moment that we're able to put together so a clear a clear focus for us.

We will keep doing this survey every six months so we keep getting a snapshot of how we're doing what victims are saying, how communities are feeling and there's some good measures here of do we start to move this forward are we starting to get the connections and the experience of victims right.

Thank you we'll move on again if that's okay.

Partnership is absolutely everything and and there's a really awfully familiar story that comes out when things don't go right isn't there not just in anti-social behavior but in other spaces.

How often do we hear that those signs the information that the working together the lessons haven't been learned whether that's from police, whether that' s from local authorities, whether that's from health services, the third sector, academia or or community safety partnerships we have to work together and there are some superb examples of this.

Really superb examples of this that you know I'm massively passionate about that that I hear every single day some superb stories of where we get things right we just need to really work hard to make that as consistent as we can and that final graphic that popped up there the police that the community safety partnerships it's not police it's the community safety partnerships of which police are part I think of the absolute bedrock of local problem solving where understanding local community needs and coming together and making a difference is how we will make a difference to the quality of lives of those affected by anti-social behavior and crime.

Thank you we'll move on just just a quick example to share with you but I think we're really starting to make a difference and it's a model where we can we can absolutely pick it up and broaden it out so around homelessness a national operation that that I'm seeking to advocate with with partners  we've called we've given it a name because it's what police officers do in operation Luscombe but we've been talking to the Home Office and MHCLG about it. Actually it's up to 23 different county areas now and this is all about bringing police, health, drug and alcohol treatment workers, housing officers and probation officers together onto streets to talk to the local homeless community not just ticket them, not just move them on, not just kind of clear the streets out the way but understand who's on the streets and why they're on the streets.

What help they need, what's preventing them being in a home and there's all sorts of different issues behind it and then making a positive offer to them through those front line services to help them with whatever help they need and then if they don't take up that offer of help and it's the right thing to do think about moving to enforcement measures to require them to do that.

So if we go on to the next slide just a little bit of information about how that's happening.

So this is an example close to when it's in my force area in Colchester and Essex where we've done exactly as I've just said that partnership enforcement team we've got a local district shop in the high street where we operate from so there's that regular offer of help to local communities and vulnerable individuals and where they don't take the support that's on and off to them we then use community protection warnings and community protection notices ultimately which can move up to criminal justice use of criminal behavior orders if appropriate to nudge them in the right direction.

Remarkably what it showed is that you can see the coloured boxes at the end people needed very little encouragement when help was offered and on very few occasions did we have to move to warning so there's a different way of working in partnership to deal with what can be a massive driver of community uncertainty and fear and indeed anti-social behavior around addressing begging, street drinking and drinking and all the other complex matters that can surround homelessness so local delivery partnership and problem solving for me is an absolute imperative to how we how we do our business together.

Thank you we'll move on to the next slide and this is just  to promote to you all and hopefully you'll have access to the slides I'm happy for them to be shared afterwards a knowledge hub that we've set up with um within the work that I've been leading over the last year or so that's a publicly available knowledge hub I've included the link on the slide there but it's it's sharing best practice, it's showing what's worked, what's not worked there's forums in there to kind of share problems and see if there is anybody fixed this somewhere else before it's not just open to police it's open to  any community safety partnerships and third sectors.

It's not big enough yet there's not enough people involved I really want to enrich this conversation and think about how it might link to other channels.

There's some great Youtube videos out there I'm hearing about of practitioners talking about real success stories so I want to build this knowledge hub of how we can work together because you'll have some fantastic ideas that that need to be shared and equally you may have some problems that someone else has already worked their way through so let's bring our expertise alive through the knowledge hub is my request to you there.

And and I think my my final slide is only to to draw together some key thoughts of what I think the next 12 months needs to look like well we all need to do point 1 quite clearly the very fact that you're here I know means that you don't need to be convinced of that but we need to influence and encourage and and keep helping others to do that.  

We've got tough months ahead Covid is not going away sadly quickly it would appear at the moment so we will continue to have that escalated level of community concern and apprehension but if we get our partnership structure right and this is local in my view not nationally delivered.

There's bits that need to be influenced nationally in terms of framework and impetus and funding but delivery is always local in my view if we focus on the Community Trigger and let me be clear on what I think about that within 12 months  why can we not have every single local authority, police force, PFCC website with real clear succinct up-to-date information around the community Trigger saying this is your right as a victim.

I know we need to build infrastructure behind it to deal with that and what victims say but it's got to be the right thing to do I feel certain but I need your support in taking that forward clearly and next year we plan to do this in April just gone but obviously coronavirus put an end to it we would like to have a national ASB awareness week where we can showcase and promote and advertise all this massively important work we've just talked about.

So one on the radar for next year if events allow. I'm working with  others to have a really significant national profile raising ASB awareness week and we will continue through that work to seek to influence government and others to get  this absolutely right but  I'd like to finish where I started I'm massively passionate about this this is really important stuff folks and I'm incredibly grateful for you giving up some of your time because without your support we won't crack it together but thank you very much indeed.

Thank you very much Andy and I will swiftly move on to Daryl Edmonds, Neighborhood and CriminalJustice Strategic Manager from Richmond and Wandsworth Councils.

Thank you very much Chair. Hello everybody my name is Daryl Edmonds  I've worked from a policing, housing and council background and I've worked in London and outside of London so quite a bit of experience around ASB.

My current role as Neighbourhoods Criminal Justice means I manage the neighbourhoods from a council perspective and from the community safety partnership perspective in Richmond and Wandsworth.

I manage violent crime and I also manage the criminal justice elements which includes YUS and IOM for those so basically what I will talk about very quickly because I've got about 10 to 15 minutes is I'm going to cover data some notifiable issues that occur during Covid,  some partnership work, some communication examples and some of the tools that we've used.

So very quickly on the data side of things and I've noticed some of the questions that people  data is only as it is currently we rely very heavily on police data around ASB but there are other elements such as housing and councils that do cover data but I'm using mainly police data that's available to the public.

In london we have seen inner london this is a year to date we've seen 127 percent increase in anti-social behavior reports or over the last 12 months you can put that down as 53.6 pecent

increase in London and in one of my boroughs in Wandsworth it's actually been more than that in inner London which is interesting and I'm very much aware that the police have been recording Covid breaches within the ASB data which causes a bit of a concern.

And at our last safer neighbourhood board scrutiny meeting that was called into question and the reason that was called into question is on the ground from councillors, from ASB officers and from professionals across the network there is a real understanding there's been a real increase in ASB as opposed to just covered reporting 81percent of the reporting I've mentioned to the police is reported using the PNE part which is the personal nuisance and environmental definition another interesting fact is as I mentioned housing - housing themselves in my in Wandsworth borough which Wandsworth housing is actually one of the biggest providers of housing there's been a 57 percent increase over the last year in ASB reporting so I think it's fair to say that ASB has gone up and I think it's not just due to a Covid trend although there are other reasons behind that.

Just to put that in context around crime in crime year to date crime has dropped in inner London and over the last 12 months so it's an interesting part where ASB has gone up considerably and overall crime has gone down and that could well be down to the lockdown.

So where have we seen these increases. 

In the boroughs that I manage the main increases we've seen there have been house parties etc but that's general but we have seen significant increases around licensed premises,  pubs being allowed to do off-licence sales serving offline sales and people then buying those items and either staying around the locality of the public house because they're not allowed to be in due to the numbers or going into the large parks that we actually have particularly in Richmond where they then drink the alcohol they've purchased and cause of further issues and that has been a significant increase for us to try and manage.

Both to manage the pubs and manage the parks so two different approaches we've had there.

First of all is we try to work with the licensing team the regulatory services team to try and change the way the pubs deal with those issues and we've also in one or two instances had to issue community protection warnings to the actual landlord of the pub to actually put in conditions that we needed them to adhere to around cleaning up the rubbish, the defecations and all the other issues that were raised and put the security on the door that would then go up and down the street and move people on and prevent them drinking outside of other people's houses or in actually in people's gardens. Regard to the parks issue that's been a completely different concept we've had to work very closely with residents groups councillors  and all relevant agencies to actually form a partnership, problem-solving group to actually look at those issues in more detail.

Some real frustration being raised by residents around that looking to actually try and employ extra services independent of the council and police which has been an issue for us uh but we now have got a real good clear problem-solving plan we've got residents involved in that plan key key residents are involved in a plan and we share that information out and I'll talk about the communications in a bit.

On the partnership side of things  you have the safer neighbourhood boards scrutiny within London which scrutinize everything with neighbourhoods and particularly on ASB.

You have the community safety partnership boards which also scrutinize all crime which includes ASB.

MOPAC has made ASB a priority across the whole of 32 boroughs of  London.

Within that you also have within our boroughs we have a Community MARAC process which looks at the highest risk cases now under Covid conditions this has been quite difficult because usually you would all meet as partners in a room and discuss the cases that have been brought forward and you problem solve but that's not so easy using microsoft teams zoom etc.

So what we actually have done is we've reduced it so that the problem solving is done outside of this Community MARAC process and you only bring cases into Community MARAC now which meet the high risk elements so they have to fill in a risk assessment and need a partnership unblocking so it could be whether it's mental health which is a regular one or substance use, housing any of those particular issues so we know what the issues are we can make sure that the representative manager who can actually make some formal decisions is actually part of that process.

Our Community MARACs a co-chair between myself and the local borough inspector for the safer neighbourhoods team and that's been really quite interesting as well the other thing we've been looking at is Community Trigger it's obviously a topic that Dave Vera has mentioned and also Andy mentioned Community Trigger. We've rehashed our Community Trigger we have a full process now where people come in.

I am the threshold so to speak so I get to decide on the threshold and recommendations are made to me by my community safety manager based on the evidence that's been created by the community safety officers and the police officers involved in the case.

That threshold in most cases is accepted and we do a review of the case. When we do a review I chair the panel and we have two independent members of that panel depending on what the case is so it could be someone from housing, someone from mental health and also in addition to that we also have a representative from the local police but there's a different police officer or from inspector and above and they're not from the area where the complaint is coming from and we invite the victim and in every case it just happened to actually come and present their case to us in the first instance so they get to have the voice first and we make it very clear what the panel's about and then they receive information back.

So that's been quite successful we've actually had five applications of that and recently the other things we've got to do and many of you out there will be thinking about this is refreshing the PSPOs the public space protection orders.

They're up for refresh coming through now to the times when they were first introduced and we're in the process of refreshing ours and doing the consultation processes around that and working to try and streamline that process and I'll be happy to discuss that separately to anybody if they wish some advice around that particularly around enforcement planning which seems to be one of the main issues with public space protection orders is actually showing what enforcement has actually occurred but they can be very successful. I'm going to go to communication now.

Communication has been paramount throughout the Covid situation so we were very fortunate we bought a system called OWL prior to Covid and we introduced it and the idea of OWL is it's a digital platform that  supports the neighbourhood watch networks  and it has enabled us to communicate with people out in their communities through their computers and their smartphones and to pass out crime prevention advice particularly around fraud which has seen a massive increase at the beginning of Covid and warning systems around scams etc and that was very beneficial.

And we're now working with the local police teams to actually generate a shared level agreement so that we can actually send out appropriate messages where they carry out investigation processes and let people know about that and the localised format and we will provide prevention advice etc based on local trends for local communities and that's been very helpful one of the key things we did look at is board panels. Now this is generally managed by the police it's a good place to find out about local issues however when Covid came in the police are extremely busy dealing with the Covid situation and their own absence rate which went up to around 20 percent at one point and so we stepped in to help and we use the various methods from OWL chat room through to microsoft teams, Zoom etc and we've created we've been as flexible as we can to  making sure to ensure these each ward panel has what they use what they feel is appropriate to the and these have been extremely successful and attendance has actually gone up which is a big benefit.

And then I'm going to go through tools so I mentioned the use of community protection warnings these have been more paramount now injunctions a lot of complaints have been received that injunctions have been given but not bee enforced particularly with committal reasons and many people might be aware that actually the prisons are all in lockdown due to the Covid situation so committal is very hard to get at the moment and it's one of those considerations so if you are going for an injunction you must look at other options other than just committal if you can.

At the moment the other thing that's been brought to my attention is around evictions obviously there was a stay put on the evictions  and that was lifted  and it's back to normal service from the 21st of September

there is some further details around that but basically anything to do with ASB should be able to be brought  back onto the table so your your immediate still and your section 7A1s are actually back in I think it's now a two month warning system and I can get further details on that if people need that as well.

So evictions particularly from ourselves who use evictions quite often around residents that cause a major issues to local communities but one of the benefits or silver linings around this is to look at closure notices and closure orders  and the technical term of partial closures to deal with ASB and to deal with other associated issues of ASB around cuckooing of individuals and so we're now working very closely with the local police team to actually develop a process and housing our development process around use of closure orders where they're probably more effective than actually most cases than the injunctions that are previously been gathered. 

And that that in a nutshell is the majority of what I wanted to say and I'm answering as many questions as I can as I go along but basically we are working as hard as we can across the full remit. We realize that in this digital age people are constantly in meetings and you're not having that general conversation when you go to a meeting to pick up other points so it has been quite difficult.

It is difficult everyone working from home but we have now moved into a new world and  we have adapted our processes to take advantage of that.

Excuse me to take advantage of that Thank you

Thank you very much Daryl and without further ado let me introduce our next speaker Keith Hunter Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside and the lead for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners - Keith

Hello good afternoon everyone and thank you for the opportunity to address your webinar all beit in rather particular circumstances of course those changed circumstances i.e the impact of Covid have had a much greater impact han simply having to move this kind of conversation online apart from the obvious medical and public health challenges that local authorities have been front and centre in dealing with the impact upon crime and anti-social behavior has been a less obvious and visible challenge but a challenge nevertheless.

Headline numbers of reports of crime reduced during the lockdown period as we may expect if more shops aren't open shoplifting will obviously reduce, if clubs aren't open the violence associated with the nighttime economy will reduce and if people aren't leaving their homes then burglaries, robberies and thefts are going to reduce.

For PCCs as the commissioners of services for victims however this wasn't the time to sit back and take a breather any change in how we live creates new opportunities and threats for law enforcement.

As the nature of vulnerability changes so as some criminal opportunities decrease the opportunities for more instances of domestic abuse increase as they do for online exploitation of children for both sexual and criminal ends and the potential for an increased level of online or telephone fraud presents itself.

So PCCs have had to be alert to these changes and ensure that services for the vulnerable and victims were able to flex and offer a service that was responsive to the changed circumstances.

I think we've had some success in that but that doesn't mean that victim numbers haven't risen in these areas which are some of the most impactful and harmful crimes and alongside of this was a significant increase in the number of reports of anti-social behavior during this period the complication as we've heard being that reports of Covid related breaches of the rules or laws were mostly categorized as ASB.

We may think that failing to comply with rules designed to keep us all safe is pretty anti-social but such behavior tends not to have the corrosive effect that other forms of ASB can have on the quality of life of individuals and communities and we're still trying to an extent to unpick the reports received during this actual lockdown period and understand what ASB really looked like during that period and what was driving the non-Covid related reports so can assist us if we return to that state of living.

Common sense dictates that neighbor disputes, noise nuisance, fly tipping were major contributors given the fact that rubbish tips were closed people were contained in their houses and flats  and were able to annoy one another more than usual so perhaps one issue to consider as we progress through this pandemic would be during a period of enhanced restrictions the number of ASB-related incidents that fall specifically when they're within the remit of local authorities are likely to increase at the same time as public health related pressures will be increasing.

What was noticeable was how reports of non-Covid related ASB picked up once lockdown was released that shouldn't be a huge surprise as all those young people who are behind quite a bit of reported ASB were let out onto the streets with a few months of unspent energy and frustration to express and of course schools weren't open giving those young people a longer period in which to create problems if they were so inclined.

As we move forward into a more localised and time limited period of enhanced restrictions in various parts of the country it's likely that patterns of ASB will change further we will all need to be on our collective toes to ensure we have a decent response capability and that those who suffer either as individuals or communities receive a service that doesn't leave them feeling unheard and uncared for.  

We should all realise by now that persistent ASB can have really serious effects on individual victims but it can be hugely damaging in a number of other respects when not tackled properly.

If communities do not feel their concerns are being listened to their confidence in the agencies that should be dealing with the issues drops and there's a real risk they withdraw from being a potential partner in any solutions that are required if this continues there's a risk of action being taken that bypasses the agencies in whom confidence is being lost and that takes us down another problematical and potentially dangerous path that eventually leads to vigilantism.

Public confidence is hard-won and easily lost so even during periods of unprecedented challenges in other areas of demand it is vital for service providers in the field of ASB to make reasonable provision when demand for services is great the likelihood is there will be more incidences then services can't respond and some reduction in the overall ability of responsible agencies to meet demand when calls for service aren't answered their number eventually drops off not because of a reduction in real demand but because the demand isn't being met.

During these periods it becomes more important than ever that services don't rely purely on calls for service or put another way purely on data to make decisions about how to use their resources.

When it comes to understanding what is happening in our communities data do not have all the answers there must be some way of linking into communities to pick up on intelligence that does not get translated into calls for service and associated data. I know we keep hearing right across every agency the data is the answer to everything and it certainly must be part of the answer but in ASB and crime it must be balanced with intelligence that is not necessarily recorded now that's a conversation in itself.

I thinkPCCs have a role here in promoting the listening to those community voices and picking up on the intelligence the data analysis won't provide and of course many of the problems associated with ASB are intrinsically linked into criminality the reality being that ASB is just part way down the continuum that leads to street violence guns drugs ad infinitum.

PCCs also have a role in encouraging the partnership working that I hope you all understand is the prerequisite for any solution to the underlying issues and that brings me to community safety partnerships which I believe are or should be a fundamental building block in the construct that is required to address ASB and crime.

CSPs vary in size and structure throughout the country but they remain the statutory body with responsibility for crime and ASB in each local authority area in some areas they don't do much at all whereas in others local authorities see them as effectively being part of the local authority.

However there are some areas where following years of a lack of focus they have become a key partnership once again.

The question I would ask you is if you are not playing your key role in CSPs as local authorities, police or whoever and using them as a key agent of  delivering against ASB and crime why aren't you?

PCCs should be encouraging this and having some very serious conversations with the responsible agencies if they are not playing their part now this is where things can become a little problematic.

The scrutiny of CSPs falls to local authorities currently although the ongoing review of PCCs may have something to say about that and I think for local authorities that is marking your own homework we've heard a bit about that already from a couple of speakers especially given the somewhat patchy engagement the CSPs that we see from local authorities and other agencies up and down the country CSPs should promote cross-agency working that is capable of addressing the underlying issues that generate ASB and crime and the constituent agencies should have the links into the communities to allow the intelligence to be gathered that will allow a real understanding of what's happening in communities on the ground that may not be reflected in data currently captured so moving forward agencies in each area will have their own lessons to learn about how they responded to Covid in respect of ASB but I would urge that every area takes the opportunity to look at this as a partnership also and how you can take that learning forward to fashion the more capable partnership for the future because of the statutory responsibilities of police and local authorities as single agencies with regard to crime and ASB both agencies have a real incentive to drive CSPs is a primary means of addressing those issues.

There is an opportunity to use what has occurred to shape a better future that becomes even more important if we consider the crime and ASB are heading right back up the agenda for this government they will be looking to create and apply levers to ensure all partners clear their path and deliver delivering the reductions they seem intent on delivering as the economic landscape looks increasingly bleak as a result of Covid.

We should remember the deprivation is the biggest indicator of crime and ASB.

So we may be heading into a period of increased upward pressure in terms of numbers of reports just at a time when the pressure to reduce is also increasing happy times ahead the only certainty is that working in partnership offers a better chance of success thank you.

Thank you very much Keith and to all of our speakers.

I am  going to very swiftly move on to questions and discussions I can see already lots of questions have come through and I am just looking to LGA colleagues so that I can find the summary of questions so thank you for sending over questions to  those who have joined us on the webinar today and just to say there are  well over 
on the webinar so I think that reflectst he quality of speakers that we have so thank you again.

The first question that we have is  to all our panelists  - is there any advice for local authorities who are responding to anti-social behavior reports that are associated with young people in particular?

And the second question again is to all panelists what are the benefits of early intervention and mediation before using enforcement  or anti-social behavior tools? So I will open that up to our panelists so I will come to each of you one by one feel free to answer both or one.

Dane Vera if i can come to you first I think that there's no doubt that the benefits of trying to  intervene early and have mediation are likely to be good it certainly is a step that needs to be taken ahead of time I didn't fully grasp the the question about young people but let me just say very quickly because I realised we've only got a short time left and we're all to try to answer a huge problem for young people is of course the complete decimation of youth services that have occurred over the last couple of years you know very few youth clubs very few diversion activities and so on and as I say I didn't entirely grasp the import of the question but it does need to be remembered that most anti-social behavior is not committed by young people it is committed by those who are over the age of of the youth court and so I didn't want us to get misled into that but most certainly early intervention and mediation if possible is excellent but my goodness it does have to be early our office has been at times you know quite full of complaints about people who have complained and complained and complained about anti-social behavior and have then you know when a number of hings have been attempted and not assisted whether they have not had any satisfaction if then been offered mediation quite fardow n the line at which time it is a unrealistic can be to them you can see possibly slightly offensive even and that they have been trying to pursue a complaint and they have got some attention but not all that they require  nd no solution and they are then being pushed back into a position as if there were a sort of equal status between the parties they have been complaining about for a while so I thinkalt hough it's early intervention and mediation very important capable of being an excellent tool it does need to be early really early.

Thank you very much. I'm particularly interested in what you said about the demographic of those who are committing anti-social behavior often in my community I represent  a North London borough we have serious high numbers of serious youth violence offences and I always wonder if there is a link between low level anti-social behavior and serious or youth violence so it's interesting to hear you talk about the demographic of those committing anti-social behavior.

If I could just add very very quicklyI think that young people's activities which can amount to being no more than them being themselves sometimes in perhaps a noisy way you know in a playground with bottles of cider on a Friday but gone by half-past nine that is often regarded as anti-social behavior but in my view that's too low a threshold and that is why young people get a bad reputation I mean all they're doing is is grouping together and enjoying themselves and as long as they're well away from houses and as long as they stop what happens at nine then I think it's  you know it's not so grave so I and I suspect that that's a harsher judgment that adults inflict on young people than they would on their their peers.

Interesting thank you very much Andy can invite you to comment.

Yes of course thank youI meanI endorse everything Dame Vera said this is this is a delivery challenge isn't it an early intervention it has to be the right thing to do but how do you do it is the key question

um one of the things we've we've been looking at in in my county and i'm sure it's happening elsewhere that seems to be showing really positive signs well two two strands um the early intervention has brought our local voluntary services together to to do that community outreach work that we knowsays have bee n significantly reduced over the last 10 years and we've we did a piece of research to work out which communities are most at risk of anti-social behavior and all the factors that lead to crime and serious violence so we've got 11 priority wards where we focus our voluntary and outreach services so we get a targeted approach around the community and the individuals and families at risk in those communities.

The other piece that that I would offer that I think is is potentially good practice is for all our outcomes involving young people and it and all that children sorry all children and not all anti- social behavior is children I know that but we have a a panel a multi-agency panel that before police consider charging which may be appropriate we get a range of views what's the right outcome and what we've seen is in a significant number of the cases we're not leading to a charge or a quick caution to use old language from the police but we're putting in some kind of support and intervention around that child and that family.

As a result of those partnership conversations so the community safety panel around people who are repeatedly coming to attention for issues that can lead to more serious issues I think is something else that's worth looking at as well.

Thank you Andy.  Daryl I was on mute sorry can you repeat the question.

No no problem at all. So the question one was around  the benefits of early intervention  and mediation before  enforcement and social behaviour tools are utilized and what are the benefits of early intervention and the second question was  whether there is any advice for local authorities responding to anti-social behaviour reports that are associated with young people.

I'm sorry i can't hear the questions. If Rachel could type them up I'll give you a response no problem. No worries we'll come back in a moment Daryl.

Keith did you manage to catch the questions. I did yes.

I don't disagree with what's what's being said so far I think it is a key issue you've got to get in early intervention early well I've seen over many years is that there must be for young people especially a consequence to their actions so that there's a learning opportunity for them now that consequence does not need to be anything too heavy-handed and in one of my local authority areas they've got what they call a fairway letter which is a three-stage ratcheting up of interventions but the first stage which is a letter to parents goes in relatively early and we find that the proportion of people who come to attention after that very early intervention is vastly reduced and the numbers on on the on the next two steps on that three-step process reduce substantially each level of intervention and whilst that might not seem like much of a consequence it is a visible uh step into that young person's life rather than uh them thinking and believing that there is no consequence for their actions so i think that very early intervention is a key issue there i think in terms of intervening with young people we need to see some more innovation i'd be really interested in in seeing what that could look like that i'm really interested in sort of peer panels for young people where other young people get involved in discussing the kind of behavior and I'm trying to discuss that with my as a some kind of intervention with my local criminal justice board there are a number of things you can do

there but for local authorities you've got to have some capability around this wishing this away won't happen but the capability and capacity to actually get out there and carry out some early interventions through the local authority and then ensure that there's some kind of consequence there and personally again I'm very interested in sort of restorative practice interventions as we've crossed down that line of interventions.

Thanks very much Keith and Daryl do you want to answer the question about local authorities and young people all together.  Yes I'm very happy to do so sorry I couldn't hear before.

Yes for Richmond and Wandsworth very differently but what we've been doing as a community safety service has been working very closely with the children's services because this is quite significant also with regard to a violent crime issue that we've had particularly in London what we've been working across is making sure that children's services, housing, community safety service, community partnership department and the police are all working together to actually do prevention and engagement across bothboroughs and the idea is prevention isaround the normal things we think about creating football, hockey, basketball art, music all those kind of activities that keep children off the streets, keep them out of trouble, keep them busy the engagement element is the bit that's very interesting to me and that's around we're identifying certain young people who are causing harm to the community or highly vulnerable or easy to be exploited and they they they're found through what we have as a marv process many people that marv process is connected also to the defendant service as well as to ourselves and as well as to the ASB warning system we're now adopted in London and what we do is those individuals identified and they're put through to mentoring programs with contextual support around the individual the family which is actually very key and the community so there's a lot of work that goes on so there's two two elements to it one is the prevention element and the other one  is the engagement and we pull our resources and our funding through the different funding streams that are available from central government local government and ourselves to actually fund these issues.

Thanks Daryl and and actually you've touched upon  our next question  so I will come to you first if there was anything you wanted to add but the question three was  well a number of our listeners have commented and have highlighted the challenges of tackling anti-social behavior with stretched resources and a small number of officers dealing with very large patches and significant populations and what steps can councils and their partners take to try and mitigate these challenges.  I know Daryl you spoke about kind of across departmental working but if you wanted to add anything to that before I go over to others.

Yes certainly  the easiest way when resources are minimal the easiest way to do this is actually to pool resources from different agencies there are a number of ways of doing that and one is to ensure you have a proper scrutiny process and for us it's the safe neighborhood boards  where we talk about ASB and what interventions are actually carried out across the partnership into that and it's a very high level board that actually the borough commander and the highest people in the council the directors are brought together that's one element the other element is the community safety partnership board and i would suggest making an asb in particular an agenda item on there because there are partners across their statutory partners such as the fire service the ccgs uh across the board that actually have resourcing available to uh these services but many times they're not cited on the issues i mean for example in the public health model where people were talking about that public health has quite a reports of the health and well-being board who are connected to the community partnership board i know there's a lot of boards but what it basically means is they all understand that the issue is they can actually pull resources and you can have a lot of activity done by public health and the earlier stages in primary school and secondary school that would support the way you deal with asp for the acute asp that's directly in front of you the only real results i can give you is actually to do in a problem-solving format through such things like the community MARAC and problem-solving uh partnership meetings and those types because that is the only way you'll be able to do it as a whole.

Thank you. Andy I wondered if you might want to comment on that resources are tight for local authorities  as well as for police forces so any thoughts in terms of how we can best utilise very little resources across the public sector working togethe in Essex the the community policing teams and the local authority teams, public health teams, mental health teams work out of the same office so the community safety partnership is a room where people work together and we don't do this perfectly but share data and agree priorities and I know it's not just data you know Keith was quite right in that but sharing what we know and understand and then we can be as discerning as possible about what we do that that's the only the only logical way to try and and try and deal with you know too much work with not enough resource it's not easy to deliver it's not easy to deliver but you you absolutely have to do it by talking to each other so  it's the community safety partnership and how effectively that works is the answer.

Thank you Andy.

Keith is there anything you wanted to add to that Yes I mean there's no silver bullet to reduced resources but there are ways that we we can attempt to sort of work around that obviously partnership is is key unfortunately when resources are cut the natural instinct of organisations are to retreat into themselves and focus on their co-activity rather than what should be the response which is to reach out and look for the combined effort you can deliver through through partnership and this is - it might sound off the point a little bit but it really isn't it becomes ever more important when there are reduced resources that the planning of delivery is actually it is focused upon all the more and agencies have a tendency to dive into activity because that that's what they can do organisations that's what they want to do but the planning around how you work towards a great outcomes is really important this is about having a proper outcome focused approach to this and really focus upon focus upon the planning that's behind that because when their resources are are tight the urges again to urge people to work harder and harder it isn't about working harder and harder it's about doing things differently and unless you get the planning right and agree on the joint outcomes what will happen is agencies will just work harder at the same things and it really is about how to do things differently at a time of reduced resources.

Thank you Keith and Dame Vera I mean local authorities are immensely cash strapped they've had draconian cuts over the past few years and there's no real sign of restoration and the police similarly had cuts there now appears to be some refunding in terms of recruitment but I don't know that they have loose money or the same imperative as folk have  said really to act together as partners and it's imperative because otherwise burdens just shift across from one authority to another so I mean it's something that i know from personal experience of a victim is that there there used to be there were noisy neighbours you know you would get installed a noise abatement piece of equipment by the local authority and they would come out of hours if necessary but when the cuts came that simply didn't happen so complaints about noisy neighbours out of ours went to the police and the police actually don't have a lot of power to deal with noisy neighbours unless it gets to some very high level so in that way it's very important for everybody to focus in together.

I think also a very very key  thing that I've found in a number of places is the is the recruitment of volunteers to support people who are suffering from anti-social behavior so various housing departments that iI know have been the source of that recruitment and what they've tried to do is to recruit people who've gone through anti-social behavior themselves who have with the help of the local authority come out the other side who can give some personal support some personal advantage, some personal explanations some shared experience to the people who are currently suffering and so this is not you know an attempt to do anything on the cheap that should be being done by a professional but it is a relatively inexpensive way of perhaps giving people moral support we all having accepted that anti-social behavior is very debilitating and very harmful so yes partnership is the name of the game.

Thank you very much and before I just go on to the final question which I think is a really important one so I will take it if I could if I could just add you know certainly from a council perspective and speaking to residents on a regular basis around anti-social behavior issues it's quite clear that some of the pathways and protocols that are not in place or some are are in place are incredibly important not just because it allows us to  be smarter with resources in a climate of continuous cuts but also for the residents who might be experiencing anti-social behavior one of their frustrations regularly from residents that I hear is well we contact the police we contact the council we contact different departments I feel like i'm going around around the circle so a clarity around a pathway or a process  allows for for us to assist them as as well so I think certainly from a council perspective I think joint work and working is is is incredibly important to be able to make progress and the final question we have is what does the panel think about mental health and care in the community given that  the county court system can sometimes make it difficult for people with serious mental health difficulties to navigate the system. Dame Vera can I come to you first.  

Well I haven't got a great deal of experience from which to to draw what I can just  feature from the phone calls that I've indicated I have every couple of weeks with victim support services where they are getting now a lot more calls about anti-social behavior they seem to be getting also more calls about anti-social behavior that has a sense that there is an underlying mental health issue involved in it I mean so in two ways firstly they are getting calls which are much longer and where the complainer wants to talk about broader welfare issues and the impact he's having on them but also some of the  behavior that's related to them seems to be sort of repeat thematic  you know not to make a lot of sense and not to be in a way antagonistic to the neighbour but to be some sort of strange self-expression that is very noisy or very impactive on individuals so I am thinking that there is you know and maybe it's part of what you opened by talking about which is you know the extra stress around people during lockdown semi lockdown limitations on what they can do leading to things just becoming more serious more more quickly. Thank you Keith any any comments on that question.

Brief comments what do I think about caring the community I think it would be a good idea I think just  putting people that need care in the community without actually providing the care isn't an answer unfortunately that is a situation that we've been in for a long period and the police local authorities have been picking up the pieces around that.

I think there is more realisation around that I think the police service has been pushing that argument for some time it has been listened to to a degree I think mental health  providers have been given additional resources within the past 18 months or so I think the result of the investment of that resource is starting to feed through to a degree and I think mental health services are taking a step forward but it's it's not quick and it's not being grasped as something that they necessarily want to do right across the country I think without some intervention at governmental level this will remain an area that we make really slow progress in and I think the government's cross ministerial higher level criminal justice group that they've set up under the chair of the Prime Minister needs to grasp this issue because unfortunately the the people that require mental health support for far too big a cohort within the criminal justice system at the moment they'll think earlier interventions will prevent that ease problems throughout the criminal justice service and ease issues for those agencies that have to intervene when the mental health services aren't there so there needs to be a movement of resource and commitment from the mental health providers to actually step into that space.

Thank you Keith and Daryl I wondered if you wanted to reflect on that as as well particularly because I know adult social care often have to pick up issues around  mental health after police agencies  intervene in the first instance yeah it's a really useful question and that it's not something that is unusual all the boroughs i've worked in is about the same issues and many people have spoken to where we are we actually are very fortunate we have what's called the serenity integrated mentoring model SIM for short where police officers are specifically trained around mental health and that's

very helpful and that reports into our community MARAcprocess we also have the service managers for the mental health trusts work who also sit on our community MARAC process so that's really helpful in addition to that again I go back to the community safety partnership and they're used to CCG there in the NHS Trust it's very helpful for them to be made aware of many of the cases that we have that mentally health issues so they're aware that they need to keep the resources in the place to actually ensure support around that because mental health is a real issue but it's something that we have been able to bring in people who make decisions around that and one recent case  we we had an individual who was actually in prison we were able to work with the prison service in order to ensure that the mental health assessment was made and then liaised directly of adult social care who as you quite rightly say under the care act etc pick up these issues and ensure that that person had the right support for when they come out of prison to ensure they didn't cause further ASB.

The other issue we've also had with mental health which is not just relating to mental health but is an issue is cross border or cross boundary services so where you have an individual who lives in one borough and also lives in the second borough and they're under two mental health trusts with receiving two different types of treatment and both trust don't have the full information so we've actually started looking at how we can develop a process  to work with partners not just within our own boroughs but also across the boundary.

Thank you very much  and Andy final comments from you.

About 20 percent of what policing does there was a big survey last year of the year before has a clear link to mental health a number of forces are trialling you know different ways of deploying frontline officers with mental health practitioners so you triage and get that immediate help and support a number of forces have got mental health managers in their control rooms they've got access to mental health databases and records and can give kind of that immediate advice to individuals who may be in mental health crisis and as Keith said there's there's a significant amount of investment that we need to see land in local mental health partnerships that's enabling them to put a significant amount of investment into immediate online support for people in crisis through I think it's triple one and an option so there's that kind of access to help but  partnership resourcing an understanding that mental health is a massive driver of issues from ASB to to youth vulnerabilities to domestic abuse is is absolutely the right space for us to be but just another another ongoing one for us to keep working at.

Thank you very much and  I have done a terrible job in timing  the session but I think everyone who's joined will agree incredibly worthwhile so thank you very much to panel members we are very grateful for your time and without further ado I will u wrap up and  remind everybody that I believe this session will be made available online and if there are any follow-up questions please do get in touch with the LGA team we're very happy to filter those follow-up questions to our panel members.

Thank you very much
 

 

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