Keynsham shows united front on anti-social behaviour at meeting
The anti-social behaviour affecting Keynsham has no quick fix – but there are many people willing to play a part in finding one, a meeting on the issue has revealed.
Residents, police, traders, councillors, the head teachers from both of the town’s secondary schools, the library service and community and church groups all came together on February 22 to discuss how to tackle issues ranging from vandalism and verbal abuse to threatening behaviour and drug use.
The meeting, organised by Keynsham Town Council, follows rising concerns over the level of anti-social behaviour in the town – which began at the end of last summer with incidents including severe damage to the Memorial Park bandstand’s roof and a disturbance at Time Out youth centre that resulted in the police being called.
The council said its youth service, which has since employed two outreach workers, could not tackle the issue alone and called the meeting with the aim of bringing people together to come up with solutions.
A new initiative, Keynsham Community Spirit, was launched online just weeks ago with exactly that goal and has already gained around 350 members, founder Trisha Williams told the meeting. Speaking alongside new chair Trisha Lahner, she said she believed reduced public services had had an impact on the community and there was frustration and anger at damaged or stolen property and fear among elderly and vulnerable people as well as those with young children.