Fall in anti-social behaviour
Published by Neil Shaefer for Broadacres in Housing and also in Communities
Activities designed to divert young people away from causing a nuisance on the streets are being described as a “significant factor” in a 46% decrease in anti-social behaviour in areas where a housing association has homes.
New figures released by Broadacres Housing Association show that reports of anti-social behaviour fell from 193 in 2012/13 to 104 in 2013/14
Reports relating to youth nuisance have fallen for the third year in a row, with just four reports in the whole of last year. This represents an overall 64% reduction in three years.
This is largely being attributed to the successful diversionary schemes in operation in areas such as Northallerton, Stokesley and Thirsk. These include boxing clubs set up in Northallerton and Great Ayton to encourage young people to get involved in sport, a youth drop-in centre/club in Stokesley (known as The Fire Place), which provide youngsters with activities such as arts and crafts, pool and games consoles, and a junior youth club in Northallerton called The Fun Factory.
Overall, there was a reduction in the number of reports of anti-social behaviour in all of the areas where Broadacres has its 5,600 properties. In Easingwold reports fell from 19 to 9; in Northallerton they fell from 94 to 40; in Stokesley they dropped from 8 to 7; in Thirsk they decreased from 34 to 20; in Selby they fell from 16 to 12 and in all other areas they went down from 22 to 16.
Noise nuisance continues to be the biggest cause of anti-social behaviour, although this dropped from 105 cases to 46 last year.
Lee Godfrey, Broadacres Tenancy Relations Co-ordinator, said: “By working together with the police and various other partners we are providing a visible presence in areas where anti-social behaviour can be an issue and by being proactive we aim to prevent rather than reacting after incidents have occurred.
“A number of multi-agency approaches, including issuing acceptable behaviour and parenting contracts, providing community mediation and anger management services and issuing notices of seeking possession of homes, have all contributed to the latest decrease in anti-social behaviour.
“Continuing to champion a range of youth diversionary activities has been a significant contributing factor to reduced levels of youth related anti-social behaviour.”
One very successful scheme is The Fire Place in Stokesley, which regularly attracts around 25 young people every week. Among the regular activities include animation workshops, music, photography and arts and crafts.
Emily Thomas, Broadacres’ Community Involvement Manager, said “These activities give the children something fun and meaningful to do and they receive positive attention, which is so important.
“We are aiming to bring real focus to their lives, with a view to assisting them in later life when they are choosing their career paths and general future direction.
“There are a number of children who come to the Fun Factory that have never engaged in anti-social behaviour and likely never well and by building relationships with them and their families it allows us to engage with them on other issues too.
“The Fun Factory is another good example of how working in partnership can benefit young people. Mill Hill Community Primary School allows us to use their premises for the youth club and we have received grants from the police and Esh Communities to help us run activities.”