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Council staff should tackle yobs, says RSA

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Public sector workers should be trained to deal with low level anti-social behaviour instead of relying on the police, a report has argued.

The RSA paper has called for a ‘Big Society’ response to anti-social behaviour involving frontline public sector workers and members of the public in the light of the limited successes of the “statist” approach

‘The Woolwich Model - How citizens can tackle anti-social behaviour’ points to the way first aid training became a worldwide phenomenon after first being established in Woolwich in 1878.

Under the model, frontline public sector workers such as park keepers, transport staff, parking attendants, teachers and social workers would be taught to judge whether a situation required intervention, and provided with skills in conflict resolution, self-defence and restraint.

Influential members of the community such as shop-keepers, publicans and postal workers would also find the training useful, the report claims, both for dealing with anti-social behaviour and as way to gain skills and improve their CV.

Author report Ben Rogers said: “We argue that community training will build up a culture of intervention beyond the police and equip citizens and public servants more generally.

“If we’re to tackle anti-social behaviour then communities need to be given the confidence that they can solve their own problems without always resorting to state-led interventions.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • The problems of ASB are greatly under-estimated, I have shown that the costs of ASB in a very low crime County exceed £72M a year. This country has stopped the early intervention in low level ASB, with the 'criminalising' of the clip around the ear, that I earned a few times in my early years.

    I have shown that by better co-ordinating the Police with County and District staff that a 15% reduction in ASB can be achieved. Then the ripple effect can take over, saving £4M to the public purse and £4M to the private sector, leading to a net increase in employment.

    This is one of many examples that we will be taking to the Government to show how linked Systemic change can reduce costs, improve the quality of life and increase employment.

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