School roadshows raise awareness of community safety and nuisance issues   

Published Friday 4 March 2022

Talking to young people and listening to their concerns about keeping safe and anti-social behaviour, is the aim of a series of roadshows visiting schools in the district.

Harborough District Council with other agencies from our Community Safety Partnership will be calling in on secondary schools from March 2022 with a view to promoting safety and reducing problematic behaviour in the district.

Following the Covid-19 lockdown in the summer of 2020, anti-social behaviour increased, particularly in parks and open spaces. As a result, and in response to concerns raised by residents, a number of measures were put in place including increased police patrols, CCTV, patch walks, and targeted social media campaigns. Although there was a small peak in nuisance behaviour after the third lockdown, last year, overall anti-social behaviour incidents have reduced by 21 per cent over the 12 months to December 2021.

Now, Community Safety Roadshows are being launched to encourage safe activity and help address some of the concerns about anti-social behaviour raised in the Council’s recent residents’ engagement survey.

Cllr simon whelband conCllr Simon Whelband (pictured) , Harborough District Council’s Cabinet lead for community safety, said: “The majority of young people are impeccably behaved, and it is important they feel able to relax and have fun in an appropriate way, but the aim of these roadshows is to talk to pupils about the impact of anti-social behaviour and how to stay safe. It’s also an opportunity to explore the perceptions of nuisance activity, for example, if a group of young people are in a park, it doesn’t mean they are behaving anti-socially.” 

The roadshows will be raising awareness of the dangers and vulnerabilities related to excess alcohol and substance misuse, highlighting alternative activities available, providing information and safety demonstrations, to increase the understanding of how young people can keep themselves, and their friends, safe when socialising in the district’s open spaces during longer, warmer days and nights.

It is hoped this will have a knock-on effect in improving local perceptions of what is ‘anti-social’ and improve community relations between age-groups, before the need for tougher enforcement.

The roadshow is set to start at Leicester Grammar School on Tuesday 8 March 2022, and will also aim to visit Lutterworth High School, Lutterworth College, Kibworth Mead Academy, Robert Smyth Academy, Welland Park Academy, and Thomas Estley Community College.