Operation Unity: Northumbria Police and Partners
Residents in the Lemington area of Newcastle raised concerns about anti-social behaviour in the area. Northumbria Police took action by teaming up with other agencies to analyse and tackle ASB in the area. The initiative, which they appropriately called Operation Unity, ran from 4th November to 18th December 2015.
Officers from Northumbria Police’s Newcastle North Neighbourhood Policing Team worked with staff from local schools, youth groups, Your Homes Newcastle and Newcastle City Council on the initiative. And Operation Unity has now been hailed a success.
During the two-month project officers and partners carried out work across the Lemington area, which included:
- Extra patrols by officers and local authority staff at key times – targeting trouble makers and taking positive action.
- Regular meetings with local schools to identify problem pupils and work with them on their behaviour, and working with staff to create positive opportunities and local activities for youths to get involved in.
- Litter picking and dog fouling days of action, working with local authority staff and environmental officers to clean up the area.
- Regular partnership meetings – where the public came along and spoke to officers and partners face to face about their concerns and problems and solutions were offered.
- Using moveable CCTV effectively in priority areas.
- Gathering intelligence and using powers of social and private rented organisations.
During the period of Operation Unity anti-social behaviour fell by an amazing 68%.
In addition, 3 joint school patrols were carried out by officers, 9 drop-in is sessions were held at the Lemington Centre with police and partners, 6 fixed penalty notices were issued for environmental anti-social behaviour, 1 summons was given for a Pollution Act offence, 2 fly-tipping investigations were launched that are still ongoing, 14 ongoing back lane deposit investigations were launched, more than 20 anti-social behaviour stop and encounters/searches were carried out by officers, and more than 100 community questionnaires were carried out by police cadets
What we think
It is good to see such a strong multi-agency approach. We already know Newcastle can count on good working partnerships between the main agencies through discussion with Victim Support who do excellent work within this structure to help victims of anti-social behaviour in the city.
It is also good to have such a comprehensive summary of what was done, both to analyse the problem, and then to tackle it. We think residents in Newcastle have a huge asset in this kind of partnership working and focused operations on ASB. It is certainly not evident everywhere in the country and many would do well to follow this kind of approach and see if they too get results.