Working group formed to tackle “spike” in ASB

Community safeguarding event organised in response to a spike in anti-social behaviour in Bradley Stoke.

Local organisations have formed a working group to coordinate a proactive approach to community concerns following a recent spike in anti-social behaviour, which has since reduced, and concerns regarding risk-taking behaviour in Bradley Stoke.

Whilst levels of anti-social behaviour in Bradley Stoke are generally low, they do fluctuate and occasionally there is an increase which causes understandable concern and frustration.

The group, which is formed of Avon & Somerset Police, Bradley Stoke Town Council, Bradley Stoke Community School, Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre, the Willow Brook Centre and other agencies, first met late in May and discussed a range of issues and incidents that have occurred recently across Bradley Stoke.

Figures show an increase in anti-social behaviour in Bradley Stoke in recent months, although it was noted that reported cases are not on the scale that other areas of South Gloucestershire have witnessed in recent years. However, it was also noted that some comments made in recent weeks on social media, and in some Facebook groups, regarding the levels of anti-social behaviour do not reflect the level of reported cases and have created a perception that the issue is far worse than it is in reality.

Where anti-social and risk-taking behaviour is occurring, it has been found recently to be across a range of ages and has the involvement of young people from a whole range of different backgrounds.

The group agreed a set of main concerns which it would seek to address over the coming months:

  • Hype on social media is, in effect, demonising young people in Bradley Stoke and ‘painting them all with the same brush’.
  • A relatively small group of young people are having a large effect on Bradley Stoke and the perception of young people as a whole.
  • Some evidence of small groups of young people in the area engaging in risky behaviour.
  • A lack of parental awareness over where their children are, who they are with and what they are actually doing.
  • A general lack of respect amongst a minority of young people in the area towards adults.
  • The availability of drugs to young people in the area.

Next steps

In order to tackle the main concerns, progress has already been made by several agencies, including the local police delivering assemblies on the dangers of carrying knives and local youth workers engaging with and challenging risky or anti-social behaviour when they see it.

A community event (see poster above) will be held at Willow Brook Centre on Wednesday 10th July, between 3.30pm and 7pm, to provide information and listen to community concerns. This event will include stands from several agencies who work with and support young people as well as those who deal with anti-social behaviour when it arises.

How can you help?

Anti-social behaviour is an issue for the community and the help of the community is needed. The group would encourage residents of Bradley Stoke:

  • To report all incidents of crime or criminal behaviour that they witness, by calling 999 if they are reporting the incident at the time it is happening.
  • To report all incidents of anti-social behaviour that they or their children witness, by calling 101 or reporting it via the Avon and Somerset Police website if they become aware of it after the event.
  • To attend, with their children of any age, the community event at Willow Brook Centre on Wednesday 10th July.
  • To refrain from feeding hype on social media – this can have the opposite effect of fuelling anti-social behaviour.
  • To talk to their children about what happens when they are ‘out with their friends’; Where do they go? What do they do? Do parents know the people that they are with? Are they meeting people from outside of the area?
  • To engage with police beat surgeries at the Willow Brook Centre and Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre and pass on any concerns or suspicions that they have.
  • To encourage their children to be open with local agencies including the police, school staff and local youth workers to share their concerns and experiences.

• Editor’s note: The above article is reproduced from a press release put out by the working group.

More information and related links:

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 12 & 13). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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