Bernicia marks UK’s first ASB Awareness Week

Bernicia has been part of a national campaign this week that is bringing together people and organisations from across the country to take a stand against anti-social behaviour and make communities safer.

ASB Awareness Week – Making Communities Safer aims to encourage communities to take a stand against ASB and highlight the options available to those facing it.
Organised by community safety specialists Resolve, ASB Awareness Week is being backed by the Home Office, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Local Government Association (LGA), National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the National Fire Chiefs’ Council (NFCC).

Bernicia makes a long-term commitment to the communities we work in to help improve their lives. While our communities are generally safe places to live, there is unfortunately times where we need to step in and support our tenants who are having their lives disrupted by anti-social behaviour.

The Sherburn Road Estate in County Durham was identified as having some issues that need an intensive housing and community management programme to address the concerns affecting tenants living there. Issues such as anti-social behaviour and fly tipping are all affecting the health and wellbeing of tenants.

Led by Daniel Finn, Project Coordinator, Sherburn Road Neighbourhood, a Neighbourhood Management Initiative has seen recruitment of a new team including, a centre manager, employment liaison Officer, data and administration officer and a housing officer. Together they bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills working in communities across the North East which will stand them in good stead to make a real difference to the community they’ll be serving.

Daniel said: “The management initiative has been put in place due to a complete lack of public confidence in stakeholders on the estate due to organised crime having a stronghold on the area.

“Through partnership working we aim to get the message out that ASB is not acceptable and won’t be tolerated. We’ll also engage with the local community to find more ways to support them in making the community a safer and more enjoyable place to live. By doing this we want to build positive relations with them and build confidence that swift, firm and fair enforcement action will be taken on all perpetrators of ASB.

“The re-opening of the Pelaw View Community Centre on the estate will provide a safe-haven for people to access services provided by Bernicia, Durham Police, Durham County Council and Northern Learning Trust. We recognise that one way to break the cycle of ASB is to tackle unemployment so we’ll be offering support to help get people back into work.

“We’ll also offer a range of after school clubs, youth groups and crafting sessions all aimed at bringing the community together and help combat isolation for those who live alone, as well as supporting tenants who may be finding life a bit difficult.”

Rebecca Bryant OBE, chief executive of Resolve, said: “We need to change the way we think about ASB. It is not low-level crime. It devastates the lives of victims and communities and can be a precursor to more serious crime.

“As the nation begins to recover from the impact of the pandemic and our society and economy celebrates the start of return to normal life, it is important that the challenge of ASB continues to be given the priority it needs nationally and locally so that people feel safe in their homes and communities.
“We are delighted to have Bernicia involved in this hugely important and successful campaign.

“It is vital to develop partnership approaches across communities to deal with the growing challenges around ASB.

“Everyone has the right to feel safe in their home and community.”