Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster has welcomed positive progress by the Constabulary in tackling anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood crime across the county.
In her latest Performance Scrutiny Meeting, Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster received a report on the work being undertaken by officers to prevent crimes such as burglary and theft and deliver a better service to victims of anti-social behaviour (ASB) – a key priority in her Police and Crime Plan.
Since introducing these subject-specific scrutiny meetings, the Commissioner has been clear that she expects to see evidence of positive progress against the priorities in the Plan, which were based on public feedback.
Speaking after the meeting, the Commissioner commented: “I am pleased to see that the proactive work to prevent burglary is having an impact. Burglary has shown a marked decrease, with a year on year drop and is now 28% (1029 offences) lower than the same period in 2020* and vehicle theft is showing a 14% (701 offences) reduction. These are the sort of improvements people of Derbyshire want to see.”
In other developments, the force has stepped up its monitoring work of ASB to identify hotspots. This year’s policing budget set by the Commissioner has enabled the force to introduce ASB co-ordinator roles who have a big part to play in the delivery of a multi-agency action plan. These individuals will support the force’s ASB Lead officer, providing specialist guidance to help deal with the nuisance behaviour that affects the quality of life in Derbyshire Communities.
Crime and ASB is now reviewed daily to identify threat, risk and vulnerability, Problem Management Plans are created to tackle issues robustly while local inspectors receive weekly ASB data and hold fortnightly meetings with staff and partners to jointly respond to problems.
In addition, an on-line antisocial behaviour hub was introduced in 2021 as a useful tool for victims to access support. Accessed via a link https://view.pagetiger.com/asb/derbyshire, it also highlights some of the positive outcomes that have been achieved.
The meeting also heard how Safer Neighbourhood Team staff were being trained in problem-solving, vulnerability, stalking and harassment so they were better equipped with dealing with victims and how anti-social behaviour co-ordinators had been introduced to ensure a consistent service and embed best practice across the force.
Since last September, the force has been part of the national Acquisitive Crime Electronic Monitoring Pilot which sees a GPS electronic tag fitted to the ankles of offenders to monitor locations visited. Recent data suggests that it is successfully discouraging participants from reoffending.
It is also utilising an Integrated Offender Management approach with partners to encourage prolific offenders away from crime and is currently working with a cohort of 200 previous offenders.
Commissioner Angelique Foster added: “Neighbourhood crime and ASB has a devastating impact on our quality of life. People deserve a better service in response to these problems.
“The force clearly understands the impact of ASB and neighbourhood crime across Derbyshire and is taking positive action to identify risk through enhanced staff training.
“This has to be combined with hard-line enforcement and I welcome the utilisation of enforcement powers to reduce ASB with increased use of Public Space Protection Orders, Community Protection Notices and Criminal Behaviour Orders. I am assured these are generally successful with few prosecutions for breaches or non-compliance.
“Many of our communities have seen a reduction in anti-social behaviour, which is positive but clearly there is still much more to do and I will continue to scrutinise the force closely to ensure everything possible is done to make our communities safe.”
*For the purposes of a realistic comparison figures from May 2020 have been used (predominantly before lockdown)