Technology helps tackle anti-social behaviour

A web-based reporting tool is helping to stamp out anti-social behaviour (ASB)

Jun 5, 2008
By Paul Jacques
PC Alannah Mulhall and PC Joseph Gerrard with Policing Minister Dame Diana Johnson DBE

A web-based reporting tool is helping to stamp out anti-social behaviour (ASB)

The hi-tech approach by Charnwood Borough Council to ensure community safety has been described by an independent Audit Commission report as being “both proactive and effective”.

The report outlines how Sentinel ASB, a web-based reporting tool developed by Vantage Technologies, has helped Charnwood to manage and reduce incidents of ASB and successfully deliver statistics on 72 behaviour types – captured as sub-headings under the 16 Home Office classifications of ASB – to central government.

Sergeant Paul Kear from Leicester Constabulary’s North Community Safety Bureau, said: “As a result or our recent trial in South Charnwood, Sentinel ASB has proved to be a useful tool for the police in its joint approach with partners to accurately identify, investigate and combat ASB.”

“Agencies, which are committed to solving problems in the community together, have to be committed to shared community intelligence. Tackling and preventing ASB remains the number one priority for our communities and therefore this will remain a priority for the Government.”

The software’s multi-agency functionality has allowed key partners, including Leicestershire Police and Charnwood Neighbourhood Housing and Community Safety Unit, to collaborate to tackle the problem of ASB, enabling them to share information about ASB with other agencies within the borough quickly and effectively.

Sentinel ASB also recognises National Incident Recording (NIR) codes, allowing the overlay of information with police data in an easy-to-read format, enabling searches by the police for a more comprehensive account of reported ASB incidents.

As a result of sharing and analysing data, the Audit Commission said wardens, police officers and PCSOs can now be directed more effectively to specific hotspots, which contributes to the reduction in occurrences of ASB in the area.

The report also highlights residents’ increased confidence in the council’s ability to manage and deal with ASB.

Results from the 2006/2007 best value survey show that 22 per cent of respondents – which is above the national average – felt fairly or well informed about the council’s approach to tackling ASB in the local area.

Steve Phipps, director of partnerships and customer services at Charnwood Borough Council, said: “Working with other agencies helps us to provide preventative and rehabilitative measures which address the root causes of problems, as well as enforcement to treat the symptoms.

“All the figures the council needs for government reporting can be retrieved with just one push of a button. It really couldn’t be quicker or simpler, and it makes our job a lot easier by saving us a considerable amount of time.”

Charnwood plans to integrate further agencies into the ASB data system which will allow even more effective partnership working. The council also plans to interface with other in-house IT systems for greater collation of data and integrate its call management system into the system so that all the information they need is easily accessible.

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