Tackling anti-social behaviour

Tackling anti-social behaviour can be tough, but a recent partnership in Buckinghamshire has managed to do just that successfully.

At the end of 2021, High Wycombe’s Eden Shopping Centre and town centre experienced groups of youths gathering on Friday and Saturday evenings, leading to pockets of anti-social behaviour (ASB).

More than 54 incidents were recorded in three months, including drunken behaviour, violence, criminal damage, and intimidation of shoppers.

To combat this, Buckinghamshire Council, local charity Action4Youth, our local street wardens, Thames Valley Police and Eden Shopping Centre joined forces, reducing the incidents of ASB and disorder between April and May 2022 to zero.

This successful outcome was achieved by our community safety team funding an additional youth security worker for six months, and targeted patrols by Thames Valley Police alongside street wardens and youth workers from The Junction – a youth club operated by Action4Youth and originally part-funded by High Wycombe Community Board.

Youths causing the problems were quickly identified from CCTV and an Action4Youth outreach youth worker offered them positive alternatives to hanging around and causing a nuisance.

These included playing table tennis and participating in music and lyric-writing sessions, among other engaging activities at The Junction.

Where the offer of support was turned down, visits were made to the home addresses of these offenders to make their parents aware. Alongside this, appropriate measures were put in place to support the young people and to help divert them from causing ASB in the future.

I’m very pleased to see this successful reduction of ASB in High Wycombe.

It’s a great example of how Buckinghamshire Council, Action4Youth, Thames Valley Police and other partners are working together to help turn young people away from crime and disorder – and to make our county safer for residents and visitors.

ASB blights peoples’ lives, even low-level issues, so it’s fantastic to have been able to find a meaningful and lasting solution that has made the environment a nicer and safer place for all.


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