Key Local Partnerships
It is fundamental to the development of an effective Antisocial Behaviour strategy and it’s implementation, that key partnerships are involved right from the outset. In the Western Isles we are fortunate that partnership working is already a well-established key principal. All of the main partners are represented within all levels of the Community Planning structure, thereby enabling key agency and community voices to be heard.
Community Planning forms the overarching framework in Scotland for making public services more responsive to, and better organised around, the needs of communities.
Community Planning has a tiered structure of accountability. This ensures that key areas of development are held up for scrutiny, and that work development links into the strategic aims for both the Western Isles Community Wellbeing Plan and the Community Plan.
A fundamental principal of Community Planning is for key strategies, which have a Western Isles impact, relevant to all agencies, to be developed in partnership. Avoiding duplication, wasted resources, and also ensuring that strategic development is capable of taking the big picture into account, is the benefit of real partnership.
In the Outer Hebrides, the Community Safety Partnership, based within Community Planning structures has the lead on Antisocial Behaviour. It was however agreed, that a group with the required expertise in this area, was essential for the effective development and implementation of an Outer Hebrides strategy and policy for tackling antisocial behaviour.
The group comprises of representatives from Northern Constabulary, Housing Dept, Sustainable Communities Dept, Education Dept, Social Work, Legal Services, and the Children’s Reporter. It was agreed that other key agencies would be asked to contribute to the group, at relevant intervals, for key areas of strategic development.
Key Strategic Links
It is essential that there is recognition of how this Antisocial Behaviour strategy links with other key strategies in the Outer Hebrides:
- The Community Safety strategy and action plan, which has ‘alcohol – as it affects community safety’ as it’s key priority for the years 2005 – 2008, aims to tackle the antisocial effects of alcohol misuse in the community. Close links with this strategic partnership ensure that work is complementary and not duplication of effort. The action plan details close working between the Police and the Community Wardens on tackling antisocial aspects of alcohol in the community.
- Youth Justice strategy – The Scottish Executive provided 2 years of funding for Youth Justice. Within this funding package, the Local Action Fund has been allocated to the Community Safety Partnership to spend on preventative action for young people.
- Community Learning and Development Strategy – The Lifelong and Community Learning Forum, who are responsible for the development of this strategy, aim to work in partnership to support young people, and prevent incidents of antisocial behaviour through targeted education, community development, citizenship and social inclusion.
- The Comhairle’s Local Housing Strategy states: Although not on the scale that affects some parts of Scotland, anti social behaviour does occur in the Western Isles. We share the Scottish Executive’s principle that everyone has the right to live in peace and safety. Anti social behaviour by individuals, families or commercial interests is not ignored or tolerated in the Western Isles and we have introduced practical measures to tackle such behaviour where it happens. These practical measures include:
- inclusion and enforcement of clear statements and conditions of expected behaviour in our tenancy agreement.
- Using Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and Anti Social Behaviour Orders where appropriate.
- Preparation of an Anti Social Behaviour Strategy and establishment of Joint Response Protocols with agencies such as Police, Social Work, NCH and local tenants and residents groups (under the Criminal Justice ( Scotland) Act 2003).
- Establishing an Anti Social Behaviour team to respond to incidents across all tenures and development of a Neighbour Mediation Service.
- Introducing a pilot Community Warden Service on the West Side of Lewis.
- Piloting the use of Loud Neighbour Declarations which set out the responsibilities of landlord tenants and other agencies.
- Establishing tenancy support workers to help individuals and families to address and change their anti social ways.
- The Comhairle’s Homelessness Strategy provides for two initiatives that have a direct bearing on anti social behaviour.
- Developing a Western Isles Foyer, which will help address specific needs of young people to make them the good citizens of the future.
- The development of a lifestyle outreach service, for vulnerable or challenging households to assist them make the transition to independent and sustainable life practices.
- Northern Constabulary Policing Plan
- Joint Health Improvement Plan – Key actions from all local strategies, which have an impact on the health of the community, are encompassed in the Community Wellbeing Plan/Joint Health Improvement Plan. The aim is to ensure that the Community Wellbeing Plan, acting as the key overarching strategic plan for health improvement will detail work going on within the community, and also that this information is disseminated throughout the Community.