St Helens Council is raising awareness of the different types of anti-social behaviour to make it easier for residents when it comes to reporting.
As part of its annual spring community safety campaign the town hall wants to ensure people know what to do if they see nuisance behaviour ranging from scrambler or quad bikes being ridden illegally on public land to irresponsible dog owners not cleaning up after their pet.
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The #Ready2Report campaign aims to help identify what constitutes as environmental anti-social behaviour (ASB) or criminal ASB and how and why offences should be reported.
Environmental anti-social behaviour is nuisance behaviour which damages the appearance of a neighbourhood: dog fouling, litter, graffiti, noise, neighbour nuisance.
All of these can be reported to the council or a registered social landlord, residents are being reminded.
Criminal anti-social behaviour is crime which is also included in definitions of anti-social behaviour and should be dealt with by the police, or can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers UK.
This includes behaviour which is threatening or offensive, such as intimidation, drug dealing and street drinking, fireworks being set off late at night, scramblers or quad bikes being ridden illegally on roads and public land and other types of vehicle misuse.
As anti-social behaviour can also be triggered by alcohol misuse, the campaign is being supported by St Helens Trading Standards, with a crackdown on underage alcohol sales, known as ‘proxy sales.’
It’s a joint effort, in collaboration with agencies from the St Helens Community Safety Partnership (CSP) – Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Registered Social Landlords and other agencies – which sees increased resources, community clean-ups and extra patrols in hot-spot areas.
Efforts continue to prove successful in local communities with data released by St Helens Council’s Community Safety team showing that 184 less calls were made to the authorities during April 2018 compared to the previous year.
St Helens Council’s anti-social behaviour manager, Colette McIntyre, said: “With the nights starting to stay lighter for longer, residents should be able to enjoy their evenings - whether it be by going out for a stroll in our parks and open spaces, or by sitting out in their own back garden – without it being ruined by inconsiderate people carrying out anti-social behaviour.
“By reporting ASB, we can work together to ensure the problem is dealt with effectively. Last year, we saw an eight per cent decrease in the number of anti-social behaviour incidents reported to Merseyside Police and an 11 per cent decrease in the number of reports of inappropriate vehicle use.
"So we want to build on this success by making everyone aware of the different ways you can report these issues– for instance not everyone is aware you can now report off-road vehicle use to the police through Facebook and Twitter, or litter and graffiti problems through our downloadable council app.
“Although it’s nice to see a steady reduction in reports each year, the council and its community partners are fully committed to tackling the issue of anti-social behaviour which in some cases, such as off-road vehicle nuisance, can lead to fatal outcomes.
"And when it comes to environmental nuisance we don’t want residents to just accept them, as ignoring graffiti, litter or even dog fouling in the middle of the street can lead to more vandalism, having a ripple effect which can lead to further crime.
"I would therefore call on the public to help us in our pursuit as we look to keep our communities a safe place to visit and live.”
Merseyside Police Neighbourhood Inspector Neil Birkett added: "Community police in St Helens continue to work hard to tackle anti-social behaviour in the heart of our communities and we will continue to work with our partners to take any action we can to put an end to it.
"There is of course more that can be done and in addition to the work that we are doing we need the help of our communities.
“If you have a problem in your area, we want people to report it. We must not be tolerant or accepting of anti-social behaviour. Individuals must behave responsibly or face the consequences, and parents, carers and families must also be aware of their own responsibilities in discouraging this kind of behaviour."
For more information on #Ready2Report and how to report anti-social behaviour visit: www.safersthelens.org.uk
Criminal anti-social behaviour can be reported to a Merseyside Police local officer or PCSO, by messaging @MerPolCC on Twitter or Merseyside Police CC on Facebook, by calling 101, or anonymously contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.