Anti-social behaviour Awareness Week kicks off with event on Weymouth seafront

Dorset Council’s anti-social behaviour (ASB) team are joining up with Dorset Police, Community Safety Patrol Officers, Dorset Fire and Rescue, Dorset Youth Outreach, We Are Weymouth and Weymouth Town Council to talk to members of the public at an event on Monday 18 July.

The agencies are running a public engagement event from 12noon to 2pm to the right of the Beach Office on Weymouth’s Esplanade as part of ASB Awareness Week 2022 (18-22 July). The event will showcase agencies that have a direct influence on and dealing with ASB in our community and will give people the chance to ask them questions.

Despite more than half of people (56%) believing that ‘more needs to be done’ to tackle ASB in their community, just one-in-fifty (2%) fully understand their rights to challenge the problem, according to a new YouGov survey.

The Community Trigger (also known as the ASB case review) is one of the Government’s flagship ASB policies. It gives people the right to request a multi-agency review of their case if they feel their complaints about anti-social behaviour have not been dealt with.

However, 94% of people said that they had never heard of the Community Trigger, with just 2% saying that they ‘fully understand’ their rights. The power was introduced in 2014 as part of a shake-up, which also saw Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) replaced with civil injunctions and the Criminal Behaviour Order.

Meanwhile, just 5% of people said they had received or noticed communications about their ASB rights in the last three years. 88% of people said that they were not aware of any communications during this period, while a further 8% said ‘don’t know.’

Overall, one-third (33%) of people said that ASB has got worse in their local area compared with 3 years ago, rising to 41% in the North of England. After they witnessed or experienced ASB, more than half of people (57%) said that they did not report it to anyone.

To tackle what is described as a ‘worrying’ lack of awareness, community safety group Resolve has organised the second UK-wide ASB Awareness Week between 18-24 July 2022. It is calling on councils, police forces, housing providers, the government, and other bodies to use the opportunity to raise public knowledge of powers to tackle the behaviour.

Dorset Council Community Safety Officers are also working with Dorset Police and Youth Outreach at another similar event on Tuesday 19 July at the Littlemoor shopping precinct at 4pm.

Cllr Laura Beddow, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Culture, Communities and Customer Services, said:

“Weymouth has suffered its fair share of anti-social behaviour over the years and it is deeply concerning that, despite the horrendous impact ASB can have, more than half of people affected do not report it to anyone.

“The polling data lays bare the worrying lack of knowledge that people have about their rights when it comes to tackling ASB. The challenge is clear – the ASB sector needs to do much more to communicate with the public and to raise awareness of the powers available, including the Community Trigger.

“Agencies across Dorset are taking part in ASB Awareness Week 2022 and I’d encourage everyone to come along to these events and talk to us directly about your concerns. It is time to back our communities and work together to make them safer.”

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