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Hertfordshire :Joint operation in South Oxhey reduces anti-social behaviour

September 26, 2012, 8:04 am

Joint operation in South Oxhey reduces anti-social behaviour

An operation to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) and related crime during the summer holidays in South Oxhey has seen a vast reduction in incidents.

Operation Contend was launched in June and saw officers from the South Oxhey Safer Neighbourhood Team, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Three Rivers District Council, working together to divert young people from such behaviour.

Since the operation started, calls to report anti-social behaviour reduced by 26.9%, equating to 90 fewer calls across July and August, compared to the previous year. Criminal damage reduced by 32%.

Examples of activities include:

  • PCSOs and Educational Support PCSOs gave talks to year 5 and year 6 students before the summer holidays about ASB.
  • Police patrols were increased at peak times in the affected areas with assistance from officers from Hertfordshires Special Constabulary.
  • Children were stopped and spoken to about their behaviour. Officers seized mini-motos, alcohol and tobacco.
  • Police, housing officers and Three Rivers District Councils Community Safety Unit worked to support and resolve ASB cases. Which, in extreme cases, involved issuing the child with an Acceptable Behaviour Agreement. This involves the child, alongside their parents, agreeing to a number of conditions, such as curfews and location bans. Twelve were issued.
  • Five children were identified as being responsible for damaging greens on the Oxhey Golf course. They took part in a restorative justice scheme which involved returning to the course, apologising to the golf manager and collecting golf balls.
  • The fire service carried out patrols of local hot spots, risk assessed vulnerable premises and held a LIFE (Local Intervention Fire Education) course, which diverts children from committing ASB and crime by providing discipline, positive role models and building confidence. They have also given talks to local children in youth clubs and at school fetes.
  • Three Rivers District Council offered free swimming throughout the summer holidays and their play rangers engaged with local children. Youth Connections also offered additional services throughout the summer period.

Neighbourhood Sergeant for South Oxhey, Luke Mitchell said: “Operation Contend was set up to deal with ASB and criminal damage and although figures were slowly reducing, year on year, we felt there was more we could do. This has been a fantastic operation, which has seen lots of proactive working with our partners who are all extremely dedicated to making the quality of life better for local residents.

“This joined up approach which included early intervention has led to these promising results. We do take anti-social behaviour extremely seriously as we know it has a detrimental effect on our residents. We plan to carry on this activity and will continue to deal robustly with any reports of anti-social behaviour.”

Richard Thake, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at Hertfordshire County Council said: “As well as all the work they do to keep our community safe, firefighters are good, positive role-models for young people. Over the years, I’ve seen what a dramatic impact the LiFE courses can have and I’m pleased that the Fire and Rescue Service has been doing it’s part to steer young people away from anti-social behaviour.”

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