Sussex Police commended for progress in tackling anti-social behaviour

SUSSEX Police said it has made progress in the way it understands and tackles anti-social behaviour.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) this week said the force should be commended for its work and for increased victim satisfaction.

This follows the release of its findings of its Spring 2012 review on how the police can best tackle anti-social behaviour

It highlighted that “Sussex Police has made progress since 2010 in how it understands an tackles anti-social behaviour problems” with “good examples of partnership working across the county.”

Sussex Police was one of the first to trial new approaches to tackling anti-social behaviour including a five stage process designed to help people who report anti-social behaviour.

Deputy Chief Constable Giles York said: “We welcome the independent review of our practices. Tackling anti-social behaviour is a priority for Sussex Police. We will not dismiss anything that is reported to us: if it affects the life of the person reporting it, then it matters to us and together with partners we will tackle it.

“The findings of the inspectors mirror the findings of our own internal reviews. The inspectorate looked at two dates at the end of 2011 and a date in February this year and found significant improvements. Since then we have enhanced our service further.

“A set of questions for call takers helps them to identify repeat and vulnerable victims, risk assessments are made and our neighbourhood teams work closer than ever with partners in a joint approach to tackle antisocial behaviour. A new IT system is in place to share information with partners - a victim should only have to make one report to one agency to see action being taken to make their lives better.

“However we cannot afford to be complacent. We accept that we need to be more consistent in identifying vulnerable or repeat victims. Our journey has seen us make improvements, which we will continue to do through constant reviews of our service.”

HM Inspector of Constabulary for the Eastern Region, Zoe Billingham said: “Anti-social behaviour is a blight that can wreck lives and communities. Our review shows that Sussex Police has made progress in how it tackles the problem, and that victim satisfaction is increasing and in line with the average for England and Wales. The force should be commended for this - espeically as it comes against the backdrop of significant budget cuts across the service.

“However, while the progress the force has made so far represents another step towards delivering a much better service to victims, there is no room for complacency. In particular Sussex Police should continue to work on making sure repeat and vulnerable callers are identified in a consistent way. This will help ensure those victims most at risk of harm from ASB get the extra support they need.”