A recent crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Daventry has been a success – partly thanks to the use of tough new powers, police say.
‘Operation Nugget’ was launched in February to tackle a rising trend in anti-social behaviour (ASB) from a small group of youths responsible for issues in the town centre such as smashing shop windows and engaging in underage drinking.
I was a little bit wary of the new legislation but I think it is going to be good for those of us who want a peaceful life and painful for people for people who want to create anti-social behaviour.Sgt Sam Dobbs
Several teenagers were arrested in relation to allegations of racially aggravated criminal damage to a high street restaurant as part of the operation.
Sergeant Sam Dobbs, who has been leading Northamptonshire Police’s Safer Community Team, said powers to ban troublesome individuals from key areas of the town centre for up two 48 hours under section 35 of new policing legislation had been vital in reducing incidences of ASB.
“I am pleased with the fact that Daventry have been using these powers the best and getting the most responses, with section 35 notices being granted on multiple occasions.”
Since the act came into force in October Sgt Dobbs said 23 orders had been made with 40 ‘tickets’ issued to offenders.
He added: “I was a little bit wary of the new legislation but I think it is going to be good for those of us who want a peaceful life and painful for people for people who want to create anti-social behaviour. There has been a culture of acceptability of poor behaviour. We need to make sure these people know it won’t be tolerated.”
Police hope the operation will blunt the current ‘peak’ in ASB, with 2451 incidences in the district this year, down 22 on the same period last year.
Sgt Dobbs said as part of his aim to build stronger links with the community he hopes to set up meetings with the management of Daventry’s McDonald’s as well as local head teachers and MP Chris Heaton-Harris.
There is also the possibility of setting up a new database for anyone in the community to share information about issues in their area.
Sgt Dobbs said: “What happens when people don’t report things is that it then comes to the boil ,but takes longer to get there and causes more people more aggravation.”
On March 23, the way in which ASB is tackled in law is being redefined, with the implementation of new legislation replacing ASBOs with ‘Civil Injuctions’, which make it easier for officers to build up case files on offenders.
The new system can also require a person to undertake ‘positive action’ to reform, including work within the community. Failure to do so can result in a prison sentence or a fine. Cases can also be made against individuals by other authorities aside from police.