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PCC launches new national initiative to tackle anti-social behaviour in Mendip


Mendip Community Trigger

A new pilot scheme to help tackle anti-social behaviour in the Mendip area was launched in Wells today, Thursday January 16 2014.

The Community Trigger scheme is backed by all the local agencies involved in tackling anti-social behaviour – including Avon and Somerset Police, Mendip District Council and Somerset County Council and Aster Communities.

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens, was in Wells to launch the initiative, which ensures people affected by anti-social behaviour are able to have their case reviewed if they don’t feel enough has been done.

The PCC told members of the Safer Somerset partnership that the pilot was aimed at ‘road-testing’ a new tool for tackling anti-social behaviour which is due to come in under legislation currently going through Parliament.

She said: “Anti-social behaviour hurts people in their daily lives. This is an exciting new approach and I would welcome feedback. We are road-testing it here in Mendip to make sure it works for our communities and it’s important that we learn from how it works here.

“I hope that the community trigger will help all the organisations involved focus on victims and give victims the power to make sure that the police or local authorities are taking action if they report something.

“Anti-social behaviour is the single most common reason that the public contact the police and the issue is continually raised with me by residents, and that is why it is a priority in the Police and Crime Plan for the police, council and other agencies.”

Anyone affected by anti-social behaviour is entitled to use the community trigger if they believe no action has been taken to solve a problem that has been reported to the police, council or housing provider.

The trigger brings all agencies with a responsibility to tackle anti-social behaviour problems together to review the case to try to find a solution.

Once the trigger has been activated, as long as the case meets the criteria it will be reviewed within 10 working days and a letter outlining the outcome of the review will be issued within three weeks.

Following this review, action could include the involvement of another agency, further investigations or the provision of emotional and practical support.

Chair of Safer Somerset, Councillor Nigel Taylor, said: “It’s about putting victims first. It’s important that the victim is listened to and responded to. We do have strong partnership working in Mendip but this will help make sure people have a route to have their case reviewed.”

Chief Superintendent Nikki Watson, Somerset Area Commander and the police lead for anti-social behaviour, said: “This is the first test of the community trigger in a two-tier local authority area, so we will have learning to share with other areas. It’s not just for individuals, it can be used by businesses and local groups as well, so it will bring communities together and make them safer and stronger.”

Darren Brazil, housing provider Aster Communities’ head of service for anti-social behaviour said: “The partners’ operational relationships are superb, but this is a way for us to identify any gaps in the service we provide. Aster Communities is the largest housing provider locally, but every housing provider has been briefed and there is considerable buy-in on the community trigger. We are delighted to take part in something which will give victims a greater voice.”

The trigger can be activated by using online forms on the websites of Avon and Somerset Police and Mendip District Council, by contacting the police on the non-emergency 101 number, or by writing to the Anti-Social Behaviour Coordinator at Bridgwater police station.


Posted on Thursday 16th January 2014
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