Have your say on anti-social behaviour in Hackney
Hackney Council is launching a consultation to find out what residents think about its approach to anti-social behaviour in the borough.
The consultation, which takes place over summer, comes as the Council’s own enforcement service is being restructured to create more enforcement officer posts and create a greater presence on the streets.
Anti-social behaviour (ASB) can include lots of different types of behaviour that occur in different circumstances, however the focus of the Council’s consultation is on ASB where there may be a link to support needs, such as substance misuse or mental health issues. This can include begging, some kinds of anti-social street drinking, street urination and defecation and ASB associated with sex work, all of which the Council wants to resolve but can often prove challenging to address without causing unintended harm.
The Council’s current approach in these circumstances is to offer support to help people access the help they need. Enforcement action is taken as a last resort, where people have refused the Council’s help and continue to cause anti-social behaviour.
We want to do all we can to ensure that residents do not have to suffer the misery that anti-social behaviour can cause, which can have a significant impact on their quality of life.
Sometimes those who commit anti-social behaviour have support needs. This is particularly the case with behaviour such as begging, some cases of anti-social street drinking, urination or defecation and anti-social behaviour associated with sex work. In these cases it’s important that we get the balance right between enforcement and support to ensure we are responding in a way that is both effective and fair. Addressing the underlying causes of ASB also means that we can be more effective in protecting residents from ASB in the long-term.
We already think carefully about this but we think it is important to involve residents in that discussion, to hear their views and learn from their experience and perspectives.
As part of the consultation, residents are asked about Hackney’s approach to anti-social behaviour, and whether they would support the Council setting up a redirected giving scheme, where residents could donate to a fund that gives grants to support vulnerable people who are begging in Hackney.
The results of the consultation will feed into Hackney’s public space anti-social behaviour strategy.
The consultation closes on 24 September. Residents can have their say here or by calling 020 8356 3170 to request a paper copy of the consultation.