Message from Humberside Police:
“We have got to do a lot more together because there are more than enough opportunities in this city for all our young people to be involved in and make a real difference in their lives and everybody else’s lives.”
That was the message from Chief Superintendent Darren Downs today, as he spoke on the Radio Humberside breakfast show about the ongoing partnership work in place to find a long-term solution to antisocial behaviour.
The Hull and East Yorkshire divisional commander acknowledged the challenges faced by our teams and other agencies in dealing with the issues – not only in Hull, but across the whole of the Humberside force area and the UK.
Across Northern Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire projects bringing together the community, our teams, local councils, education providers, social services, housing providers and a host of other agencies are already up and running.
However, these initiatives cannot solve all the issues overnight and Chf Supt Downs also spoke of his sorrow that some people are still left feeling afraid or isolated as a result of the actions of others.
But, his overriding message was one of hope that by working together, we will make a difference.
Here’s what he had to say:
“Clearly antisocial behaviour is a challenge for us. There are lots of areas of the city experiencing antisocial behaviour and it’s something we do a tremendous amount of work in trying to reduce and trying to reassure our communities.
“This time of year – with October half term, Halloween and Bonfire Night – is always a challenge for us, as our demand does go up in this week or two period as well.
“There has been an increase recently around this time of the year but when you compare it to previous years we’ve actually had less incidents than we have had in previous years but that doesn’t stop the fact that people will still feel there’s been an increase this year.
“There’s clearly been a lot reported and there are clearly some challenges for the partnership to deal with.”
Responding to reports of some residents saying they feel unsafe as a result of antisocial behaviour, Chf Supt Downs said: “I’m really upset that people are in that position. It’s not what I want to hear and I’m sure that’s not what anybody would want to hear.
“If anybody has got problems I would want them to come and contact the police, contact the local authority and we will do everything we can to reassure them.
“My staff in particular and the partnership staff, have been doing some phenomenal work and in the last five weeks alone we have made 77 arrests in Hull North alone.
“In relation to some work we’re doing up there, we have done lots of stop searches, [dealt with] Covid breaches, we’ve seized vehicles and, actually, in that five or six week period all crime on Hull North is down 36% and incidents are down 28%.
“We are doing the work. We just need to keep our foot on the accelerator and keep driving through with it.
“The key is that we can’t arrest our way out of a problem like this. It’s far too complicated.
“So, we’re doing a lot of work across the partnership. We’ve got the new multi-agency hub that’s going to be based in one of the shop units off Ellerburn Avenue, which is replacing the POD.
“We’ve got a mentoring scheme where we have got 80 places funded for 14 year olds and above. This is something that’s really good and hope will divert some of the children.
“We sit down as a partnership every two weeks to look at all the children who are involved, to look at all the work we can do, looking at referral programmes, youth intervention stuff – there is a whole host of other stuff that’s ongoing but it does take time for some of these things to come to fruition.
“We need to create more of a legacy going forward, with a permanent system in place, be it youth clubs, youth diversion, engagement activities or mentoring programmes.
“We’re looking at doing something as well where we set up mentoring programmes for employment – apprenticeships, careers.
“We have got to do a lot more together because there are more than enough opportunities in this city for all our young people to be involved in and make a real difference in their lives and everybody else’s lives.
“It’s a really complex problem. Some of the young people shouldn’t do some of the things they do – I think that’s without doubt.
“But unfortunately there’s a lack of services, there’s a lack of opportunities. We’ve also got the pandemic at the moment.
“It’s a really difficult time for children. I have five children of my own and they’re finding it really challenging – not being at school, lockdown periods, not seeing friends. It’s a different environment and it’s way more complicated than just blaming the children.
“We’ve got to come together as partnership – the local authorities, health, education, police – everybody – and try to solve some of these things once and for all and give them something else to look to.”
To those who are concerned about antisocial behaviour, Chf Supt Downs had a final message: “If there is anyone who’s affected, please, get in touch. Let us know what’s going on.
“The one commitment I will give you is that I and my team will work tirelessly to try and sort these problems and get a solution to make the place as safe and strong as we can for our communities.”
If you have concerns about antisocial behaviour or crime, speak to your local officers, contact us via our website or social media (@humberbeat) or call our non-emergency 101 line.
Alternatively, some issues – for example noise and littering – are dealt with by your local council and can be reported directly to them. For more information, see their website.