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New bid to tackle anti-social behaviour in Norwich

A new drive has been launched to combat
anti-social behaviour in Norwich, as new figures revealed the city council receives more than a dozen complaints a day about problems.

While reports of
anti-social behaviour have dropped by 15pc compared to the previous year, there were 4,612 calls to Norwich City Council about it between March 2009 and April this year.

Noise was the number one reason for complaints, followed by nuisance behaviour and harassment, and action taken by City Hall bosses included an eviction, 26 injunctions and 33 possession orders where a court agreed to take possession of a council home and return it to the council.

Following a countywide look at how the problem is tackled, a new Anti-Social Behaviour Action Group has been formed, made up of a collection of agencies including the city council, police, health bosses, the drug and alcohol action team and representatives from the youth offending team. The new panel will meet for the first time this week and Barbara Draper, interim anti-social behaviour manager at the city council, said: “The real goal is to reduce anti-social behaviour, but when it does occur we want to get to it quickly and change people’s behaviour.

“It’s about us ensuring that we can offer support to change their behaviour, while we will also be looking to make sure the victims are offered help.”

She said by getting all the agencies around the table, working in partnership, and setting clear targets on who is responsible for dealing with particular issues, it should ensure cuts in public spending do not impact on tackling anti-social behaviour.

The agencies will share lists of people who are currently subject to
anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) and acceptable behaviour contracts, with their progress reviewed when the panel meets every month.

She added: “We will also be looking at different areas of the city, so if, say there is a sudden rise in racist incidents of young offending in one part, then via the panel we can decide who is best placed to tackle that.”

Sgt Dave Jerman, from Norfolk police’s Norwich anti-social behaviour unit, said: “It’s about bringing problems to the table which maybe one agency has been struggling with and asking what does everybody think about how we should tackle this?

“Working in partnership is a big part of that. It’s also about holding the agencies accountable, so when one of us says we will do something we have to do it because we’ll be back at the table in a month’s time and will have to show what we have done.”

Do you think more needs to be done to combat anti-social behaviour in Norwich? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@
archant.co.uk

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