New community wardens to tackle ASB in ‘hotspot’ areas

New community wardens and support workers are patrolling in targeted areas of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, in the next phase of an initiative led by the Staffordshire Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB).

In July 2023, Staffordshire benefited from £1m government funding for uniformed ‘hotspot’ patrols in Burton, Fenton, Hanley and Etruria, Stafford, Newcastle and Cannock town centres.

The new community teams will provide a visible uniformed presence to reduce and prevent incidents of ASB in these areas, engaging with local people and businesses to understand and respond to their concerns. They will also provide reassurance for more vulnerable people, including the elderly and young people.

Staffordshire Commissioner Ben Adams said: “The new community wardens and support workers are part of a problem-solving approach to tackling anti-social behaviour and other neighbourhood crimes. They will work alongside Staffordshire Police and with other local community partners including local authorities.

“As well as visibly patrolling alongside the wardens, a key part of the support workers’ role is to address the underlying factors contributing to ASB. This includes providing immediate advice and guidance but also signposting people to appropriate support services such as housing, mental health and substance misuse services.”

The community wardens and support workers will work from local Police stations, alongside neighbourhood Police officers and PCSOs, partner agencies and community safety teams to address local concerns. While they are not Police officers, they have a range of defined powers delegated to them by the Chief Constable to maintain and improve community safety.

Chief Inspector Laura Davies, ASB lead for the force, said: “We welcome this new initiative in helping to tackle ASB in Staffordshire.

“We have worked closely with the Commissioner’s Office in the development of this scheme. Community wardens will provide a specific service to our communities, separate but complementary to the service provided by our Police officers and PCSOs.

“We look forward to working alongside wardens in continuing to make the county a great place to live, work and visit.

“I would also encourage anyone who has been affected by ASB to report them to us on 101 or through Live Chat on our website.”

The community wardens are just one element of the Staffordshire Commissioner’s ongoing commitment to tackling ASB across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, which includes:

  • Funding three new mobile police stations operating across Staffordshire and Stoke- on-Trent to bolster visibility and accessibility. The mobile stations allow people living, working or visiting these areas to speak to neighbourhood officers and share any concerns
  • Committing over £900k a year to local Community Safety Partnerships to prevent and reduce crime and ASB.
  • Campaigns funded by the government’s Safer Streets fund to inform the public about how to report ASB, as well as tackling the cause by educating offenders on the impacts of ASB and the consequences of breaching Public Space Protection Orders. Previous Safer Streets funding saw practical partnership measures like CCTV, gating and improved lighting in targeted areas, combined with awareness campaigns and education programmes, to tackle ASB and violence against women and girls
  • A campaign to raise awareness of the ASB Case Review, a powerful tool allowing repeat victims to request action if they have reported incidents but are unhappy with the response they received
  • The summer Space programme, relaunched in 2015, brings together public, voluntary and private sector organisations to provide activities for vulnerable young people to help increase their skills, improve their health and wellbeing and create opportunities, while also aiming to reduce levels of ASB. Since being relaunched, Space has seen a 75% reduction in youth ASB during the summer period. The programme will be returning between [dates]
  • The Harmony ASB and Mediation Service, commissioned by the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office, has been delivered by Victim Support since 2021 to provided practical and emotional support to people impacted by ASB
  • The Community Remedy, designed to give victims of low-level crime and ASB a greater say in how offenders are dealt with. It allows Police and partners to deal with low-level crime and manage offenders within the community, in consultation with the victim. Victims should be able to see the offender putting right what they have done wrong, or participating in an activity that deters them from re-offending

Find out more about what the Staffordshire Commissioner and his office are doing to tackle ASB across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

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