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.”