Officers from Newport’s Neighbourhood Policing Team are planning special activities on Facebook and Twitter to promote their campaign to address anti-social behaviour in the town centre – Operation Varney.
This is an ongoing priority for Newport’s Neighbourhood Policing Team and colleagues in the Isle of Wight Community Safety Partnership.
In May, Hampshire Constabulary started to receive reports of anti-social behaviour, such as verbally abusive or disruptive behaviour and street drinking. This was happening in Newport around Church Litten and the bus station.
On Monday 13th August, between 13:00-13:30, the Neighbourhood Policing Team will be holding a special lunchtime tweet surgery on the @IOWightPolice Twitter account to answer questions and provide advice about anti-social behaviour. The team won’t be taking specific reports of crime via Twitter, these can be made by calling 101 or visiting the Hampshire Constabulary website, but they will be providing practical advice to residents.
On Wednesday 15th August, between midday and 17:00, the team will also be taking part in a Facebook day of action to highlight Operation Varney and provide an insight into the impact anti-social behaviour has on members of the public and retailers. Every hour a short video will be posted on the Hampshire Constabulary Facebook page and @IOWightPolice Twitter account, featuring PC Ben Sharland and guests to explore a different aspect of the work that’s being done in the town centre to tackle anti-social behaviour. Members of the public will be able to share and comment on the videos.
Inspector Rob Abel said:
“This is an innovative approach to tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB), which is a priority for Hampshire Constabulary and Newport’s Neighbourhood Policing Team.
“I’m delighted that members of my team are using different channels online to compliment the work they’re undertaking on the streets in Newport. By using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter we can take part in a conversation with people of all ages in their own homes. This helps us to address problems that have been identified to us, while engaging with a much wider audience about things like anti-social behaviour.
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“The message to those people responsible for nuisance and anti-social behaviour issues is simple. We will take action, and this could lead to you having a criminal record. This in turn could affect your eligibility for employment, your ability to borrow money, or may mean that you cannot travel to countries like the United States in the future.
“We have a number of powers to tackle ASB and these include: community resolutions, dispersal orders, fixed penalty notices, acceptable behaviour contracts, and criminal behaviour orders.
“The far preferable thing is for us to actually approach people and have a conversation, discuss the issues, and ask them to refrain from being anti-social. By resolving the issue at the time it benefits all parties involved. People do need to realise though that we do have specific powers to deal with anti-social behaviour and we will use these if the situation requires it, or if someone is persistently causing a problem.
“If you see anyone causing a public order issue or anti-social behaviour in the town please call us at the time. Don’t think that someone else will report the problem. We need you to report any incidents to us, so that we can build a complete picture of what is happening in the town centre. You can do this by visiting the Hampshire Constabulary website or calling 101”.
If anti-social behaviour is affecting your quality of life, or making you fear for your safety or the safety of others, there are people who can help. You can contact the police, the Isle of Wight Council Community Safety Department or, if relevant, your housing provider. These partner agencies have a role to play in reducing anti-social behaviour, supporting the most vulnerable and dealing with the people responsible.
Anti-social behaviour is an incident that may not necessarily be a criminal offence, where the behaviour of an individual or group causes or is likely to cause:
- Harassment, alarm or distress to any person, not of the same household
- Another party feeling personally threatened
- Creates a public nuisance or detrimental impact upon the environment
- Has a detrimental effect upon the quality of life of an individual or the community as a whole.
If you have children under the age of 18 you can help Police by following this advice:
- Before they go out, find out what your children are doing, where they are going, and when and how they will be getting home.
- Sometimes children do not consider the consequences of their actions, so ask them to think about whether they could be causing distress to others, damaging the environment or putting themselves in danger.
- Often children do not need to buy alcohol, they take it from home without their parents’ knowledge. Keep alcohol in a safe place and keep a check on how much you have, so that you will know if any goes missing.
- Young people are also often the victims of disorder, so if you or your child experience anti-social behaviour, make sure you report it to the police. We cannot send officers to every incident, but if you let us know what is happening in your area, we can make sure our resources are targeted effectively.