Action to tackle Keynsham antisocial behaviour under way ahead of community talks

Published on: 05 Feb 2018

Antisocial behaviour in Keynsham town centre has reduced over the past few weeks but work is continuing to tackle the issue, says Keynsham Town Council.

Youth workers employed by the authority have approached youngsters who gather in the Civic Centre and the both the council and youth service are working with the police on ways to combat the kind of problems that had escalated in recent weeks, says town clerk Cheryl Scott.

Dr Scott said: “The town council is well aware of at least two groups – including cyclists around the Civic Centre – that many residents have contacted us about.

“Our youth service has started to engage with this latter group in an effort to provide them with alternative activities in the evening at Time Out Youth Centre and our understanding is that the police have also taken action.

“Our outreach youth programme is currently working two nights per week in identified hotspots (Civic Centre/High Street, Memorial Park and Queens Road/Tintagel) to engage with any young people and provide them with activities to focus them away from disturbing the residents.

“Our observations are that the level of antisocial behaviour and young people on the streets has considerably reduced this month and, currently, most of the young people that are seen are from out of the area.

“The Civic Centre incidences seem to coincide with school holidays. Needless to say half-term is approaching and we will be monitoring the situation diligently.”

Dr Scott added that only a small minority of young people were involved in the antisocial behaviour and that the majority should not be “tarnished by the few”.

“Keynsham is very fortunate to have one of the few youth councils in the country – Keynsham Now – which has received local and national awards for its activities this last year,” she said.

“They play a very positive role in Keynsham, including raising money for local charities, engaging with the community and working with other Keynsham young people to address issues of concern, including bullying in schools.

“The town council recognises this and supports their activities.”

The town council is still working on plans for an antisocial behaviour forum this month, which will bring together residents, organisations, police and council representatives to help address the issues.

Speakers will include people involved in initiatives in other areas of B&NES, including street pastors or marshalls, and the aim is to gather as many people as possible to find a community-led solution, said Dr Scott.

Invitations will also go out to schools, sports clubs and Neighbourhood Watch groups and anyone who would like to be involved can contact Keynsham Town Council on 0117 986 8683 or at townclerk@keynsham-tc.gov.uk

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