Zero tolerance on anti-social behaviour

July 28 2017

POLICE are taking a "zero tolerance" approach against a recent rise in anti-social behaviour in Staple Hill.

 

POLICE are taking a "zero tolerance" approach against a recent rise in anti-social behaviour in Staple Hill.

Residents say that incidents involving young people in the area are on the increase and want the problem swiftly dealt with.

It comes after reports of several fires in Page Park and in the car park of Iceland as well as incidents of under-age drinking and groups of young people shouting abuse.

The spate of problems has led one Facebook user to call Staple Hill 'helicopter central' in reference to the number of times the police helicopter has been called out.

Police say they are being proactive, issuing dispersal notices, talking to parents, young people, youth leaders and schools to stop problems escalating.

In one incident, officers based at the Staple Hill police post responded to calls about under-age drinking in the High Street with further reports that youths were shouting abuse at a member of public who was collecting litter in Beaufort Road.

Police issued a dispersal notice to three teenagers aged 15 and 16, which meant the young people risked arrest if they returned to the area within a specified time.

Neighbourhood sergeant Steve Davey said: "We’ve spoken to the individuals affected by this incident and have identified a number of the teenagers involved. We will be working with our ASB (anti-social behaviour) officer and the ASB team at South Gloucestershire Council, as well as organisations providing youth outreach services, in order to nip these issues in the bud."

PS Davey said that officers attending this sort of incident will be using their body-worn video cameras as a matter of course and the footage may be used to take action against those responsible.

He added: “We know young people want to meet their friends and of course they should be able to use our community spaces like everyone else. Most young people don’t cause any issues, but this sort of incident is unacceptable. We have taken a number of young people home and spoken to their parents and we’re also in contact with local schools about the problems.”

The local police team has taken to the Staple Hill Residents' Facebook page in order to offer reassurance action is being taken.

Staple Hill councillors Shirley Potts and Ian Boulton are working with the police and the community to control the situation and say it is essential that the public reports any act of anti-social behaviour in order to maintain officer staffing levels.

Cllr Potts said: "The police have concentrated their efforts around Page Park, in the vicinity of the Square and by Page Community Centre and the new youth club and much effort has been made to resolve the situation and to understand the reasons for this trend.

"Progress is being made but residents are urged to report to the police any incidents which may occur."

Cllr Boulton said: "We are particularly concerned that children and young people are being allowed to wander the streets without any parental supervision making them extremely vulnerable to intimidation, bullying, exploitation and criminality.

"The police have been actively helping us by taking a zero tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour. We have also been working with youth groups, schools and the anti-social behaviour team and social services department at the council in order to try and nip problem behaviour in the bud before more damaging and long term problems develop for the individuals involved."

Anyone witnessing anti-social behaviour should report the incident to police. If a crime is being committed or if someone is at risk of being hurt or feels intimidated, call 999. Otherwise residents should call 101 or report it online by visiting http://bit.ly/1T39W48.