Gwent Police not doing enough to help victims of yobs, say inspectors

South Wales Argus: CONCERN: Gwent Police has been criticised for the way it deals with victims of anti-social behaviour CONCERN: Gwent Police has been criticised for the way it deals with victims of anti-social behaviour

GWENT police is unable to consistently identify repeat and vulnerable victims of anti-social behaviour, a report has said.

A report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) says some victims may not be getting the extra support they need.

But HMIC, which has inspected how the police deal with anti-social behaviour, said the force has made some progress in how it tackles the problem.

According to the report, the force is “still unable to consistently identify callers who are most at risk of harm”

from anti-social behaviour, such as vulnerable victims and those who have called about an issue before.

“This means some victims may not be getting the extra support they need,” it said.

The report said the force relied on staff to search through different IT systems to see if they called before, before asking specific questions.

Out of 100 calls about antisocial behaviour reviewed by HMIC, call handlers only asked 32 times whether a caller was previously a victim.

Gwent Police has invested in new software to improve its call handling, the report added.

The report said as there is “still no effective anti-social behaviour training programme”

neighbourhood police are not fully aware of the most up-to-date options to help them tackle the issue.

Inspectors also found that plans to deal with specific local problems are not well monitored.

However the force recently introduced a new procedure helping to identify issues and send extra patrols to hotspots where incidents occur most regularly.

HMIC said the chief officer team made it clear tackling the issue is a priority, and that staff were found to be committed, resourceful and effective in responding to anti-social behaviour issues and were generally well equipped to tackle the issue.

HM Inspector of Constabulary for the Western Region, Dru Sharpling, said the force should be commended for its progress.

But she added: “There is no room for complacency.

Gwent Police should continue to work on ensuring repeat and vulnerable callers are identified.”

The inspection is a followup to a review in 2010.

Gwent Police was asked for a comment but did not respond.


Three-quarters say it’s an issue

A TELEPHONE survey of people in Gwent found just under three-quarters of people felt anti-social behaviour was a big problem in their area.

The survey of 200 people earlier this year found 70 per cent felt anti-social behaviour was a big problem, compared to 77 per cent in a survey in 2010.

This year 60 per cent said they’d called the police to report anti-social behaviour three times or more over the last year – 52 per cent said they were satisfied with the way the issue is dealt with in their local area.

When considering a specific call, 58 per cent said they were satisfied overall with the way police dealt with the anti-social behaviour, and 89 per cent said they would encourage others to make reports of the problem.

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