Police Now officer leads taskforce to reduce anti-social behaviour in Kent
Tuesday 23 August 2022
Police Constable Natalie Faiers, who joined Kent Police via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme in 2021, has been leading a taskforce of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) to reduce anti-social behaviour (ASB) in Ashford, with positive results.
On the Stanhope Estate in Ashford, Natalie’s policing area, the number of reports of ASB has risen over recent years. The ASB also presents a broader problem for the neighbourhood by acting as a gateway for criminal behaviour, and many fear that the ASB is directing young people towards drug dealing and more serious crime.
When Natalie first started as a neighbourhood police officer on the estate, tackling ASB became her key priority. Her first step was to apply for a taskforce of PCSOs who would conduct extra patrols and implement strategies to tackle ASB and crime within specific locations, targeting offenders and supporting repeat victims. The taskforce played a vital role in gathering intelligence, which enabled the force to issue Acceptable Behaviour Agreements and Community Protection Notices and Warnings, helping to prevent further offending.
The team also worked alongside local schools and sports clubs, helping to get individuals back into the education system and tackle youth boredom, a common cause of ASB. Natalie also set up ‘Stanhope Safer Communities’, a two-day neighbourhood event offering advice and reassurance to residents from local partner agencies and promoting positive activities for young people.
Thanks to these efforts, in under a month (22nd April – 16th May 2022) recorded crime in the area decreased by 24% and, when compared to the same period last year, there was a 75% decrease in reports of assault. Across the entire timeframe that the taskforce was deployed (February- April 2022), there was a 64% decrease in reports of rowdy or nuisance gatherings and a 45% decrease in reports of criminal damage.
Police Constable Natalie Faiers said: “It’s encouraging to see how working as a Police Now neighbourhood officer can make a concrete difference in the community! Stanhope was seen as a ‘problem’ area, which are often perceived as unalterable. It is really motivating to see a tangible difference regarding ASB in the community, specifically those problems that have been raised by the residents, targeting what matters most to Stanhope.
“I have had the opportunity to work alongside colleagues and other agencies to create and share successes, all with the aim of impacting the community for the better, building trust in the police and protecting the vulnerable.
“My role has been challenging but rewarding when working to shift the headspace of young offenders, encourage a pathway away from crime and provide more positive prospects for their futures into adulthood, where they can enrich their own community.”