Members of the Community Safety Partnership, Safer Watford, are raising awareness around Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) as part of a national week of action.
ASB Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday 9 July, aims to increase public understanding of ASB and how those affected can get help.
Watford’s Safer Neighbourhood team works alongside local partners on a daily basis to tackle issues affecting people’s quality of life – and find solutions to prevent them happening again.
On Wednesday (5 July), police officers and PCSOs joined partners from Watford Borough Council - including Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor – Watford Community Housing, Herts County Council’s Services for Young People, Watford Women’s Centre and Herts Fire and Rescue Service for a community engagement event in the atria shopping centre.
Shoppers were able to stop and chat to partners about what constitutes Anti-Social Behaviour, how to report it and the tools available to partners to resolve it – one of which is called an ASB Case Review, previously called a Community Trigger.
This process allows members of the public to request police and local authorities to review their case if they feel not enough has been done to tackle a chronic issue.
Throughout the day, the public were also encouraged to fill out an online questionnaire (opens in a new window) to determine their knowledge around ASB, whether they had ever experienced it and if so, had they had ever reported it.
Inspector Dan Jones, who leads Watford’s Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We know that anti-social behaviour can have a devastating impact on those who experience it, and we are committed to working with our Safer Watford partners to find a solution that enables all residents to lead a peaceful life.
“The event at the atria is a prime example of grass-roots policing; getting boots on the ground, being visible and directly engaging with the communities we serve to really understand the issues that matter most to them. I’d like to thank all those who attended, and those who helped to organise the day.”
One recent example of partners working together to improve residents’ quality of life is the extension of a closure order on a property in Hemming Way, Watford, which had been linked to suspected drug activity.
Last month, police secured a three-month extension on the current closure order, meaning no one is able to enter the address for the next three months or risk being arrested. In the interim, the housing provider is working to repossess the property and move the tenants on.
Deputy Mayor of Watford and Portfolio Holder for Community, Cllr Aga Dychton, said: “Anti-social behaviour can create feelings of fear and uncertainty among residents. It's giving the wrong impression about what a safe town Watford is.
“With our community safety partnership, Safer Watford, we are making sure that all residents feel safe and have access to resources aimed at alleviating any concerns and enable individuals to assert their rights confidently when reporting anti-social behaviour.”