Council team chief reveals 18% rise in antisocial behaviour reports during the pandemic

Hunters using dogs to catch hares were among the rising number of antisocial behaviour incidents in the East Riding in the last three years, according to a council report.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 5:22 am
A report stated that the East Riding was targeted for hare coursing, using dogs to hunt them, from offenders from across the country.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s report showed the number of reports of antisocial behaviour its teams handled rose by 18% during the coronavirus pandemic alone.

Council figures also showed the number of service requests made to antisocial behaviour teams rose from more than 600 in 2018 to 2019 to about 840 by 2020 to 2021.

Team head Nigel Brignall told the council’s Safer and Stronger Communities Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committee the increase came after antisocial behaviour previously fell “significantly” from 2010 up to 2018.

He added closure orders for offending social housing tenants and dispersal orders helping Humberside Police tackle incidents like street drinking following Beverley Races were among measures used to combat it.

The comments came with the report stating that the East Riding was targeted for hare coursing, using dogs to hunt them, from offenders from across the country.

Figures showed the number of Community Protection Notices and Warnings (CPNs and CPNWs) issued over hare coursing rose from 24 in 2018 to 2019 to 49 by 2020 to 2021.

Two orders were breached, one by a Hartlepool man who became the first in the country to do so in 2019.

Hull Magistrates Court fined the 51-year-old almost £659 including costs and a victim surcharge after pleading guilty and failing to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice over several hunting trips.

The report stated hunting caused “significant distress” to affected farmers and landowners.

Two orders were breached in 2019 to 2020 over streetscene offences.

One was over the storing of “large amounts” of firewood in a public road and another for a car sales business using a free council car park to ply their trade.

The council hired contractors to remove graffiti about 100 times in 2018 and 2020, with the figure spiking to almost 160 in 2019.

The report stated the increase was largely fuelled by just one case.

The report showed Beverley’s Minster and Woodmansey and St Marys wards, Bridlington South, Goole South and Hessle had the highest levels of antisocial behaviour.

Beverley Rural, Cottingham North, Howden, Snaith, Airmyn, Rawcliffe and Marshlands and Willerby and Kirk Ella saw the lowest number of reports, less than 50 each in the last three years.

There are currently 168 Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) in force throughout the East Riding, about one for every parish.

One order in force in Beverley was used to help police officers tackle street drinking following this year’s races which saw one person arrested.

They also cover issues including the behaviour of dogs and controlling public access to roads and backstreets through gating alleyways.

The majority of reports were dealt with through the council’s Fairway Scheme, which focuses on working with those aged 10 to 18 and their families to stop future offences.

More than 550 reports were handled through the Fairway one and two schemes in 2020 to 2021, compared to less than 50 each for Community Protection Notices and Behaviour Orders.

One Civil Injunction, court measures which replaced Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs), was issued in that time and six since their introduction in 2014, with none breached.

Mr Brignall told councillors the recent spike came as the team had been prevented from giving talks in schools during the pandemic, which are now set to resume.

About 97% of all requests for intervention against antisocial behaviour made to the council came from white British people.

The council’s antisocial behaviour team also supports around 400 Neighbourhood Watch groups across the East Riding.

Article by Joe Gerrard (Local Democracy Reporting Service)