Police Constable Georgina Newcombe, who joined Greater Manchester Police in 2020 via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, has been working with her neighbourhood team to reduce anti-social behaviour (ASB) in Wigan town centre.
A local bus station in Georgina’s policing area was a hotspot for reports of ASB, including criminal damage, drug use, and abusive behaviour towards staff. Georgina worked with local staff to identify the youths involved and implement early-intervention tactics.
Georgina worked with the Police Community Support Officers on her team and the local council’s Community Resilience Team to conduct home visits – educating young people and their parents on the consequences of ASB and addressing the issues at hand before sporadic, low-level crime could escalate into repeat offending. Where necessary, criminal proceedings were pursued for more serious offences.
Thanks to Georgina and the Wigan town centre team, the area was removed from the region’s ‘ASB hotspot’ list for the first time this year and 70% of the young people that were visited over a twelve-month period didn’t partake in any further instances of ASB.
PC Georgina Newcombe said: “Through visiting young people and their families, we have been able to build a much better understanding of their home lives, their school lives, who their friends are and why they are engaging in ASB and low-level crime. It allows us to tackle the problem at its roots and use proportionate but effective methods to divert young people away from crime. Using this civil escalation process to engage with those involved has allowed us to gather the intelligence and evidence we need to identify the main ringleaders. This meant that when more serious offences were committed, we already had the intelligence we needed to act quickly.
“This is very much a continuous piece of work, and we have been able to apply this method to tackle ASB in other hotspot areas. It has been a real team effort to reduce incident demand in this area and it all started with building strong working relationships on the ground.”
Georgina has also been working with The Prince’s Trust to deliver sessions on ASB and County Lines to young people in Wigan who are at risk of being exploited or engaging in criminal behaviour, to educate them about the risk factors and the impact of this kind of crime on communities.
She said: “As part of Police Now’s programme, I have just started a 4-week secondment at the Centre for Social Justice in Westminster. I’m working with the Modern Slavery Unit and the Criminal Justice Unit to research policy in this area and see how it can be improved to better support frontline officers. Undoubtedly this will help to inform my future approach to youth ASB and County Lines activity in my neighbourhood.”
This week (18th – 22nd July) marks Anti-Social Behaviour Awareness Week across the UK. Participants on Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme work as neighbourhood police officers in communities across the country, to tackle deep-rooted problems and reduce ASB from the very start of their policing careers.