Pilot scheme tackling trouble-makers in Tower Hamlets has a 95 per cent success rate
- Credit: Mike Brooke
A pilot scheme tackling street gangs and loiterers in the borough has recorded a 95 per cent success rate since its introduction nine months ago.
The trial, led by the anti-social team at Bethnal Green police station, records people’s names and addresses on a database instead of just moving them on if they’re causing a nuisance.
As part of the scheme a police officer will visit the home of anyone persistently recorded causing anti-social behaviour.
Since the trial started in September officers have given out 1,900 warnings and with only 100 people being reported more than once, the scheme is a 95pc success.
Sergeant Colin Reed told the Advertiser: “Before we would just move people on from where they were causing a nuisance but that meant they would move to another stairwell.
“Now we take names and addresses and give them a notice.
“This notice is just a piece of paper that says ‘we’ve seen you using cannabis or standing in the stairwell causing a noise nuisance and told you why you shouldn’t be here’.”
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Police are now considering introducing the scheme across London following a meeting with all borough commanders.
“Details that go onto the database at Bethnal Green are not a criminal record,” Sgt Reed added.
“You won’t have to declare this to an employer.”
According to Sgt Reed, Tower Hamlets police issued 18,000 anti-social orders in the last year – more than Westminster which includes parts of the West End.
Officers will visit the homes of persistent trouble-makers and if they are social housing tenants, their landlords will be contacted - provided their family signed a tenancy agreement against causing anti-social behaviour.
“We’ve gone on from just moving them on to turning up on their doorstep,” Sgt Reed said.
However this option is unavailable for officers if trouble-makers live in privately owned or privately-rented accommodation.
Persistent trouble-makers are put in touch with schemes like the London ‘gang exit’, an outreach programme to help gang members quit their lifestyle.
If they’re long-term unemployed they will be referred to the Prince’s Trust for help.
Sgt Reed added: “It’s not about enforcement, but why they’re behaving like that and trying to change their behaviour.”
Sgt Colin Reed and the anti-social behaviour notice dished out by Bethnal Green’s anti-social unit. Picture: MIKE BROOKE