Partnership & Community Development
Safer Neighbourhoods Operations Group
What are they?
In brief, Neighbourhood Action Teams (NATs) are community meetings that are held in each of the 17 electoral wards within North Lincolnshire, which are chaired by an elected member and allow the community to be in a position to influence, prioritise and resolve issues relating to community safety and environmental issues within their area. [Link to NATs]
Any problem which has been prioritised but which is not capable of being resolved locally is referred to The SNOG meeting. The SNOG is a multi agency group responsible for implimenting the Community Safety Plan on behalf of the Partnership Board.
The people who attend the SNOG are senior people who have the authority to commit their organisation (or department’s) resources to solving problems with partner agencies in a cohesive and joined up way.
At an AAT meeting a briefing document is produced jointly by the Police and Safer Neighbourhoods which will examine the crime figures for each of the wards. The Chair of each of the NATs can be invited to attend to speak briefly about their area and to identify any priorities which they are not able to deal with because of lack of resources and the problem is passed to the SNOG for assistance in finding a solution.
The Chair of the Brumby Ward NAT identified that Brumby Corner was causing concern. Residents were fed up with being woken at all hours by rowdy drunks, fed up with being subjected to barracking and intimidating behaviour on the way to the local shop and fed up with having their local area continually littered.
Safer Neighbourhoods was tasked to carry out a consultation to identify exactly what the problem was and who it was affecting. Local residents and businesses were questioned about what they believed was happening and they were asked to score the severity of the problem out of 10. Local service providers such as postmen and bin men were also asked about the things they had seen. We also spoke to the people that were congregating there to find out why they were there. At the end of the consultation period we had a clear idea of exactly what the problems at Brumby Corner were:-
- On a Friday/Saturday night there could be upwards of 50 to 100 young people gathering
- Drunken adults returning from pubs were buying alcohol and continuing their drinking
- Litter, overflowing bins and empty bottles etc
- Boy racers/excessive speed on the roads making it dangerous to cross
- People were intimidated by the large groups of youths
- Residents were kept awake until the early hours at weekends by the noise being produced by so many people
The problems seemed to be worse on a Friday and Saturday night and the problem severity rating score was 7.62 out of 10 – far too high. It did seem a little puzzling that so many people would meet at Brumby Corner where there are no pubs or clubs nearby but the consultation showed that people liked meeting at Brumby Corner because it is central to populous areas such as Westcliff and Ashby, it is well lit and has a constant flow of traffic, so people felt secure and could meet their friends in a safe environment.
At the SNOG meeting the findings of the consultation and problem scoring was discussed and agencies committed staff and resources to alleviate the problems. The target was to reduce the severity rating to 5. By working very closely with all our partners, a number of actions were put in place:
- Temporary CCTV was installed
- Local businesses such as Spar were brought on board to utilise their surveillance – this enabled us to identify problem individuals.
- Once these individuals were identified the Police Respect patrols (which deal with antisocial behaviour) offered support and assistance.
- Police patrols were increased
- Voluntary Action North Lincolnshire (VANL) played a vital role in working with the young people who were congregating there.
As a result a follow-up consultation was carried out and the severity rating experienced by local people fell from 7.62 to 3.03 – an improvement of almost 60%. Calls to the police for ASB issues fell by 50% and calls for service about crime-related issues fell by 75%.
The NAT would not have been able to produce these results themselves, but by referring the matter to the Operations Group where senior people from all the agencies attended, resources were able to be re-directed and the problem was solved.