Operation Hawk – the police response to halloween and bonfire night – was an outstanding success in West Swindon according to Community Beat Manager (CBM) Tim Titchener, with a 75 per cent reduction in antisocial behaviour compared to last year.
“During this period anti-social behaviour normally comes to a head, but this year it was very quiet,” he said. “We had preventative patrols from 3pm until midnight, making certain that people were not disturbed by local groups of youths intent on causing trouble. Along with posters to shops urging them not to sell flour and eggs to youngsters, and a party for teenagers at the Link Centre, there was very little disruption.”
Preventing crime is the aim of the police Neighbourhood Police Teams focussed on West Swindon – and with 400 fewer victims of overall crime in a seven month period compared to last year, it seems to be working.
CBM Titchener said that the team has also been piloting a Restorative Justice project to resolve neighbour disputes. “We have been running this for four months and it’s been effective in dealing with deep rooted, long standing problems between neighbours, which over years can descend into abuse and insults. We have had over ten disputes resolved like this.”
The success in the West means that the idea will be rolled out across the rest of Swindon some time next year.
While Freshbrook Centre is closed the police are appealing for people to keep an eye on it and ensure it’s not vandalised or broken into. If you do see anything call 0845 4087000.
And on a more seasonal note, as Christmas approaches Tim warns everyone to put common sense into action. “Don’t leave presents under the tree in full sight. If you are going away, check that the burglar alarm works, ensure a neighbour has a key and knows you won’t be at home. And have a Happy Christmas.”
Pictured: Tim Titchener and PCSO Amanda Luker examining Restorative Justice paperwork