94% of businesses feel they have a part in preventing anti-social behaviour

4th February 2019

We recently attended the Co-Op Secure Response conference at Wherstead Park. In attendance were local businesses as well as representative from Police, Suffolk County Council, local schools and the YMCA.

There were some interesting stats regarding businesses perceptions of anti-social behaviour (ASB):

  • Over 50% of businesses had been affected by ASB in the previous 12 months
  • The cost to businesses in repairing any damage was, on average, £1105 pa
  • The witnessed ASBs that caused the most concern were littering (56%), vehicle-related (40%), noise-related (40%), rowdy behaviour (35%), begging (33%) and drug-taking (30%).
  • Businesses anticipated that 30% of their time was spent dealing with ASBs.
  • 41% of businesses who completed the survey were in a Suffolk town centre.

As the main causes and issues relating to ASBs are within the local community, 94% of businesses felt that they should do more to help prevent problem behaviour. Here are a few suggestions that came up across the event:

  • Log every incident through your local council website (in Ipswich, we use this site) or use Crimestoppers, call 101 if non-urgent or log online here. All reports are now analysed and linked together to help tackle ASB in key areas.
  • If you would prefer to report crime anonymously then use Fearless, a site that is also useful for information on common ASB problems and can signpost to other helpful sites.
  • Find a charity that works with the people causing the sort of problems that you are experiencing and contact them to let them know the area that you are in.
  • There have been some great stories around businesses offering inter-generational mentoring – we heard from the YMCA regarding their scheme and the Grand Mentoring Scheme was also suggested.

Finally, there was a presentation on Designing out Anti-social behaviour from Lucy Mures at Suffolk Police.

Some simple wins for businesses include:

  • Ask yourself “what is the attraction of this area?”
  • Find out if there are times of the day when the situation worsens or improves.
  • Restrict access
  • Enforce rules
  • Introduce surveillance (please note: ensure that your CCTV is good enough quality to be of use by investing in the system, removing any obstructions and checking there is adequate lighting in the area being monitored)
  • When an area is left unloved or unkempt, increasing damage will occur and ASB will increase. This is called the Broken Windows Theory. Reporting all issues, big or small, as discussed earlier, can help prevent an areas spiralling out of control.

For any help or to discuss specific issues, Lucy can be contacted on lucy.mures@suffolk.pnn.police.uk