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‘Anti-social behaviour creates apprehension, intimidation and fear’

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Sometimes the smaller problems cause the biggest headaches, writes Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

Just one incident of antisocial behaviour creates a whole web of apprehension, intimidation and fear affecting hundreds of people.

It has far-reaching implications on mental health and quality of life.

Recently I visited Inkersall, where locals have experienced children as young as ten being abusive and damaging vehicles around the shops in the evening. The age of the culprits in no way diminishes the fear and intimidation felt by their victims.

The problem is exacerbated by the cuts in funding for youth activities.

I hope that CCTV will help.

It’s a similar picture in New Mills. During my recent visit residents explained the detrimental impact of cross-border gangs coming into the town from the Greater Manchester area and damaging business premises, engaging in anti-social behaviour and generally leaving local people very afraid.

The meeting brought together not only neighbourhood policing officers but also town councillor Lance Dowson and High Peak MP Ruth George.

We’re working with Greater Manchester Police to improve cross-border communication and I’ve asked the chief constable to review the resources and response to problems in the New Mills area.

In addition to this, we’re also planning to host a meeting with the business community on the possibility of establishing a Shop Watch scheme.

Other visits to Boythorpe, Littlemoor, Holmehall, Hayfield, Charlesworth, Hadfield and Calow have raised problems with mopeds, speeding, parking on pavements and other ‘environmental’ issues.

I’m pleased to say that a series of multi-partner meetings are in the pipeline to discuss tackling these.

I urge people to report problems – and to talk to me as I go round the county.

I will be meeting Staveley councillor Helen Elliot to consider the need for extra diversionary activities to keep youngsters focused and on-track in the area.