Partners combine to tackle nuisance yobs

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Anti-social behaviour is a label covering a wide range of issues that upset people.

It can include music being played too loudly, teenagers on street corners or playing football in the street, issues surrounding prostitution, begging in the town centre, fly-tipping, neighbour disputes and cars speeding through built-up areas.

Not all of them are tackled directly by police officers but often the initial reports come to them before being passed on to organisations such as Doncaster Council’s neighbourhood response staff.

It is the co-ordination between those bodies that is thought to have led to fewer incidents being reported.

Chf Insp Jackie Hardy, who is in charge of the Doncaster police Safer Neighbourhood Teams, say the figures confirm they are ‘a great success’.

And she points out that anti-social behaviour can be summed up as ‘the minority affecting the majority – and that can’t be right’.

She said: “Our success is really down to the fact that we co-ordinate our response with our partners to address certain issues that are brought to our attention.

“We work closely with the council’s neighbourhood response teams, St Leger Homes, trading standards and others and we are now far better at hotspot management.

“We identify problems areas at the earliest opportunity and we formulate a plan with our partners.”

Vulnerable victims of anti-social behaviour are now given special attention, after a high-profile suicide in the West Midlands of a woman whose disabled daughter was plagued by yobs for years.

Chf Insp Hardy said: “Partnership is the key to what we‘ve been doing and it is paying dividends. We are also confident we can maintain this impetus for 2013.”

Despite the big fall in anti-social behaviour reports in 2012, the Belle Vue area proved a surprise exception.

It has never been known as a deprived area of Doncaster but Chf Insp Hardy has an explanation for the slight increase from 198 incidents in 2011 to 225 last year.

In policing teams, Belle Vue is not just the housing estate off Carr House Road but also covers the Doncaster Carr, Keepmoat Stadium, Lakeside and Doncaster Leisure Park.

“Until a few years ago it was more of an industrial area which was not associated with anti-social behaviour but the rise in housing has increased the number of people living in that area,” said Chf Insp Hardy.

The man who moved house to escape yobs

One man who has suffered a saga of anti-social behaviour over the years has been forced to move house.

Tim Knowles suffered years of hell in Balfour Road, Bentley, before being rehoused in Scawsby a few weeks ago.

He feels his involvement in community affairs led to his rented house being targeted by yobs who smashed windows, dumped rubbish in his garden, and lurked outside.

He said: “I was glad to be moving away because there had been so many incidents.

“It got so bad that Victim Support became involved. It just went on and on.

“It was people with nothing to do, who had no work to go to, who were just bored and used to hang around causing trouble.

“A lot of people knew it was going on but were frightened to talk. It left me in fear and it harmed me psychologically.”

Mr Knowles took an active part in trying to improve the area but says that counted against him.

“I fought for what I believed in and tried to my best for society but I got very disillusioned and felt let down.”