We are tackling the yobs

Fleetwood's Neighbourhood Watch chairman Ivor Bould is concerned about anti-social behaviour.
Fleetwood's Neighbourhood Watch chairman Ivor Bould is concerned about anti-social behaviour.

FLEETWOOD residents are being reassured that anti-social behaviour is falling and that agencies are working better together to reduce it even further.

At recent PACT meetings in Fleetwood, youth nuisance, neighbour problems and boy racers came top of the list of local residents’ concerns.

Among those echoing these worries was Fleetwood Neighbourhood Watch chairman Ivor Bould, who said Government cutbacks were undermining police work.

But the Wyre Community Safety Partnership has reassured residents in the town that anti-social behaviour is falling and that agencies are working better together to reduce it even further.

The Partnership, which includes Wyre Council, local police and firefighters, notes that in 2010/11 anti-social behaviour fell by 12 per cent in comparison to 2009/10.

Coun Roger Berry, Chairman of the Partnership, said: “We do accept that anti-social behaviour is happening, but we hope to reassure residents that a lot of work is going on in the background to tackle it.

“This year there are plans in place for alcohol misuse schemes and more diversionary activities to keep young people occupied. There is also more emphasis now on prevention and early intervention to address problems within offenders’ families that lead to anti-social behaviour.

“Help and support is also being given to vulnerable individuals.

“All the agencies involved are totally committed to both preventing and dealing with anti social behaviour.

“We just need the community to continue to work with us by reporting issues as soon as they arise.”

Under the banner of the Partnership all kinds of projects are being funded to address the root causes of anti-social behaviour.

One saw a number of persistent young offenders taking part in activities to teach them responsibility.

They met war veterans, attended anger management and drug awareness classes and team building exercises to promote respect for others.

Neighbourhood policing teams have noted a difference in the behaviour of those taking part, including one who joined the army and another who contacted the project team for help as soon as he was at risk of slipping into old ways.

Young women have been targeted in a similar way, with a project that taught them budgeting and cooking skills at the same time as highlighting the dangers of their present lifestyles, resulting in a reduction in re-offending.

Following a spate of graffiti in the Chatsworth Avenue area, young people were instead encouraged to contribute to an art wall and instances have since reduced dramatically.

A translation and liaison service is making it easier for the Chinese community to report problems that are talking place outside their premises.

Full use is also being made of the town’s CCTV system, directing police to incidents such as domestic disputes before they can escalate.