Posted: Thursday 18th August 2016
Article for the Calverton Echo - August 2016:
Summer is in full swing and most of us are anticipating spending at least some social time in our gardens over the coming weeks, depending on our British weather. While the long, warm nights are certainly a welcome arrival, they can present something of a challenge to our local policing teams, especially at the weekends.
The presence of youth clubs and sports facilities will be vital in keeping our youngsters focused and productive during the school holidays. There will always be young people who choose to engage in nuisance behaviour rather than finding a positive outlet for their energy but we can greatly reduce this number by expanding the opportunity for organised fun, and I hope the many projects my office has supported in recent years will really come into their own this August.
Alongside youth activities, parents are another great ally for local police during the summer. By helping their children to understand the impact of antisocial behaviour on vulnerable members of the community and the harm it can wreak on wellbeing, they encourage greater responsibility and can influence their child’s actions for the better. No parent enjoys a visit from the police because their child has got into trouble or caused people to feel alarmed. Similarly, few children realise the criminal consequences of their actions and it is always helpful to remind them. Setting boundaries and talking through the potential risks can be a great deterrent.
It’s important to remember antisocial behaviour can be caused by people of all ages and backgrounds and is not exclusively a youth problem. Adults can burden police as much young people during the summer with irresponsible drinking and disorderly behaviour and this doesn’t always happen in the setting of a pub, bar or nightclub. The seasonal BBQ can be an equally volatile situation where vast volumes of alcohol are consumed, impacting on neighbourly relations and potentially escalating in violence.
Reports of ASB and alcohol-related crime are likely to spike over the next few weeks but the policing teams in communities like Calverton are well-prepared for the possible influx with extra patrols to maintain peace and safety. If we can help to reduce the demand on an already overstretched service by taking or giving sensible advice, then we will all be winners.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner