South Tyneside chiefs promise to tackle 'root causes' in new plan to tackle anti-social behaviour

A new antisocial behaviour policy in South Tyneside will “build up trust” in communities and tackle perpetrators through education, according to borough chiefs.

By Nic Marko
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 3:12 pm

South Tyneside Homes (STH) adopted a new antisocial behaviour (ASB) policy in January, updating procedures since their last policy review in 2016 and pledging more support for residents in its properties.

Bosses hope the new initiative will help them take on the “root cause” of issues.

Alex Hoole, community safety and enforcement manager at STH, said: “We need to be a bit more streamlined in how we assess what’s going on, it’s not just about enforcement action, it’s about changing behaviours.

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“I’m well aware that because the service hasn’t been the best it could have been it’s going to take a long time to build up trust, but we’ll get there I hope.”

Early intervention, increased focus on supporting victims, evidence gathering, regular case reviews and staff training are all expected to form the core of the new approach.

But formal enforcement action will remain an option in persistent cases.

South Shields Town Hall

Hoole also stressed the importance of anyone being impacted by antisocial behaviour to get in touch with them, either directly or via a councillor.

She said: “We will never disclose where complaints have come from, unless a complainant says yes I’m happy to say it’s me.

“We do as much as we can to try and keep people anonymous, and what I would say is come and have an initial conversation with us.

“That initial conversation won’t automatically go in any legal process we might end up taking and it might give us enough to go, another service might have that information, and we’re able to get evidence somewhere else.”

Residents are also urged to contact police directly if any criminal incidents are witnessed, noting it will allow them to help track crime hotspots.

The updates were provided at the latest meeting of Hebburn Community Area Forum (CAF) at Hebburn Central on Monday (April 11), where councillors stressed the importance of supporting residents.

Cllr Wilf Flynn, chair of Hebburn Community Area Forum, told the most recent meeting of the panel (April 11): “The policy is great, but it’s the individual that’s sitting in the house that’s getting the torment, and the effect on them.”