Initiative slashes Hawick antisocial behaviour calls

THE results of a joint initiative to reduce antisocial behaviour in a notorious area of Hawick have this week been described as “hugely encouraging”.

In the three months since the project was launched, on December 14, there was a 74 per cent reduction in the overall level of complaint calls to the police, with no further calls regarding a number of households which were deemed “problematic”.

The findings were presented this week to the multi-agency Safer Communities Team at the headquarters of Scottish Borders Council at Newtown, which had sanctioned the initiative, aimed at combating and reducing incidents of antisocial behaviour in streets at the west end of the town – Allars Crescent, Allars Bank, Backdamgate, Crown Close and Lovel Court.

The team was aware that many residents in this area were reluctant to come forward with specific information for fear of reprisals.

The initiative involved a task group, comprising police and housing officers from social housing providers Eildon and SBHA, along with local councillors and members of the Newtown-based team, carrying out door-to-door discussions.

Each resident was provided with an information pack, along with a face-to-face reassurance that action would be taken to deal with those responsible for making their lives a misery.

In addition, what were described as “identified problem residents” signed acceptable behaviour contracts (ABCs), while others were warned about their future conduct.

The dramatic cut in antisocial related calls, was welcomed by Kerr Scott, the team’s senior antisocial behaviour officer.

“These statistics are hugely encouraging and pay testimony to the close co-operation and multi-agency work which regularly takes place in the Borders to make our area one of the safest places to live, visit and work,” said Mr Scott.