March 2017 - Student related Anti-Social Behaviour
Anti-Social Behaviour increases in Jesmond during academic term. This occurs both as a result of noisy parties and the transient noise incurred by students preparing for nights out and returning in the early hours of the morning.
What we are doing about it
Operation Oak was set up and has been successfully running for several years. On key nights during the academic terms, officers are deployed to solely tackle student related anti-social behaviour, patrolling key areas and engaging with the student community. Working closely with the universities and the local council, a tiered response system has been implemented whereby those making unnecessary noise can be given a warning in the first instance, with reprimands increasing to include Acceptable Behaviour Agreements and the seizure of musical equipment for those who repeatedly cause a disturbance.
Keeping you informed
While Operation Oak will continue throughout the academic year there has been a change in the Police response to noise complaints in general. The local authority is the lead agency for noise issues. Any calls received to the Police in relation to noise issues will be risk assessed by control room staff. Where appropriate officers will be allocated but in most cases callers will be advised to contact the local authority who has reporting mechanisms in place.
At the start of the new academic year and during the Fresher's Weeks extra patrols were put in place to include the whole of this period. Officers' engaged with students prior to them going on their night out, calling in at the Halls of Residence and speaking with students in the street and at local shops. Encouraging them to have a safe, fun night, they were reminded about returning home in a considerate manner and the sanctions that can be imposed by the Police, the council and the Universities where this has not been the case. Officers then patrolled the key areas at the times students would be returning home, providing a high visibility presence and taking action where appropriate through means of verbal warnings, alcohol seizures and reporting for offences where necessary. As ever, re-visits are conducted with students whose behaviour is deemed to be anti-social and as part of Fresher's Week the University Liaison Officer has been attending the initial lectures of all students to remind them of their responsibilities when preparing to leave or returning home from a night out.
The number of incidents reported to the Police since the turn of the year has continued to remain low. In April there was a slight increase on the previous month. In May this increased further to 44 reported incidents. This is consistent with the end of the academic year. In June 31 incidents were reported that were attributed to student behaviour. The majority of these incidents were in the first two weeks of the month. The number of calls received fell significantly in the second half of the month as students returned home at the end of the academic year. In July the majority of students returned home following the completion of the academic year. Correspondingly the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour fell. It is anticipated that levels of incidents will remain low until the beginning of September when students return for the 2016/17 academic year.
Visit the Jesmond Neighbourhood Policing Team page to find out how to contact the team.