Equating Anti-Social Behaviour
The assertion that anti-social behaviour reports have dropped 35 per cent as part of a highly successful campaign by Stoke on Trent City Council is not as clear cut as one would believe.
Whereas just because reports of disruptive behaviour has dropped does not necessarily mean that the scourge of drug dealing and other anti-social behaviours in communities is decreasing.
People just aren't reporting it.
Furthermore, Housing Associations mistakenly term drug dealing as anti-social behaviour; so when Housing Officers are tipped off about drug dealing on a complex they ask other tenants/residents if they can also confirm that anti-social behaviour is occurring.
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Of course the neighbours in the same community report that they have not witnessed anti-social behaviour not realising that drug dealing is termed as such. Many equate anti-social behaviour with rowdy gangs of youths getting drunk in the street.
On the other hand, some people are not comfortable with contacting the police themselves and others do not want to get involved full stop.
The remits governing Housing Association's and Council's anti-social behaviour policy should include separate terminology for drug activity.
In addition, something should also be put into place to take the pressure off residents plagued by drug dealing in their area.
Currently the onus is on the already stressed neighbours to record times and dates of suspected drug dealing in order that the Housing Association/Council can build up a case for prosecution.
Drug dealing lowers the morale of all those in the community which has a knock-on effect for other anti-social behaviours to occur.