Commissioner highlights support for residents affected by anti-social behaviour

Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend is encouraging residents to report anti-social behaviour as this year’s ASB Awareness Week continues with the theme of ‘Know your rights’.

Anti-social behaviour takes many forms, ranging from rowdy behaviour to anti-social driving, neighbourhood disputes and criminal damage. It happens where an individual lives and can often leave them feeling that there is no escape.

It is tackled in Surrey by the Anti-social Behaviour and Community Harm Reduction Partnership Delivery Group that includes Surrey Police, Surrey County Council, local councils, health, housing and support services.

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Building on an ‘outstanding’ rating for preventing crime and anti-social behaviour received by Surrey Police in an inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) last year, the team said that more work was needed to ensure that victims of ASB knew how to access support – and were kept at the heart of a response that is tailored to their individual needs.

‘Without mediation and coaching, I honestly believe I would not be here.’

In Surrey, help is available via a dedicated mediation service that provides a listening ear and supports individuals to access further help.

Mediation is offered to those in conflict, with mediators facilitating communication between individuals who work through their differences and reach agreements to live peacefully.

A Surrey resident who recently engaged with the service said: “With support from Surrey Police and Mediation Surrey, an agreement between us and our neighbour was reached. Without mediation and coaching, I honestly believe I would not be here.”

While mediation requires the agreement of all involved, individuals can receive expert Support Coaching that provides practical support to develop coping strategies. By focusing on more positive aspects of their life, Coaching helps them to support their mental and physical health.

Supported by the Commissioner’s office, the service received over 400 referrals from individuals and agencies in the last financial year. One victim of ASB said, “I’ve benefited from the sessions and grateful for the extra tools which really help me, I wasn’t aware of this service before and very grateful and delighted to have received it.”

Victims are also linked into a local Community Harm Risk Management Meeting to ensure there is additional support or action taken to stop the problem.

Mandy Hargreaves, Director of Services at Mediation Surrey said: “I would urge anyone in conflict with their neighbour to contact us. We are here to help, and our team of coordinators will know which service is best for you. By providing support & advice, we’re committed to helping you to live peacefully.”

Residents can find out more about both services here.

The PCC’s office also plays a key role in carrying out ASB Case Reviews (formerly known as the Community Trigger process), that gives residents that have reported a problem three or more times over a six-month period a way to ask for more help.

By requiring multiple partners to come together to find a more permanent solution, a Case Review is a powerful tool that puts the spotlight on their problem. Between April and December last year, 25 requests for Case Reviews were received.

The Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend said making sure residents feel safe was a key priority in her Police and Crime Plan for Surrey:

“Anti-social behaviour is often described as a ‘low level’ crime, but it can have a lasting and devastating impact on people’s lives.

“I regularly hear from residents affected by ASB and they often feel there is no escape. That’s why it is vital that we raise more awareness of how to report problems and the dedicated support that is available in Surrey.

“The Case Review process is really important. It gives people an avenue to escalate their concerns and be heard. By bringing together a mix of organisations, it is a key part of the coordinated approach that we are taking to tackle harm in Surrey.”

More information on how to report anti-social behaviour or access help can be found at

Rowdy and nuisance behaviour, drug use, anti-social use of vehicles, anti-social drinking and criminal damage are examples of ASB that should be reported to the police. Contact Surrey Police on 101, via Surrey Police social media channels or at Always dial 999 in an emergency.

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