Anti Social Behaviour in West Byfleet

We would like to share the following information with you in relation to the recent spate of Anti-Social Behaviour that has been prevalent in West Byfleet. Link to original reference

Dear Byfleet and Pyrford resident

I attended a regular Woking Community Engagement meeting at Woking BC offices yesterday. This is a 3-way meeting between the Woking BC Community team, Woking Police and Woking Neighbourhood Watch.
I asked Inspector Andy Greaves, who was present, what progress has been made on the issue of the anti-social behaviour by youths in West Byfleet centre.

It is worth passing on the main points of his response.
Andy spoke at length about the problem and what the Police will be doing when he attended the Watch Co-ordinators meeting on the 9th October. Nothing has changed as regards the solution, but progress has been made.

The first thing to note is that these youths are from both Woking and Runnymede boroughs, and so they are “our” problem. Andy’s approach, and one which has worked well elsewhere, is to remove the “marginal” youths from the core of the problem. Many of the youths see that being part of this gang is exciting, and yet a lot of the parents would probably be shocked if they found out what their son was doing. So that is the first move. Where the youth is not known to the Police letters are being sent to the parents, along with video evidence, and the parents are being told that they are responsible for the youth. This does, and definitely in the case of the West Byfleet youths, had a dramatic effect. The next stage is to go through the process as laid down by the “Anti-social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014”. This is aimed at ensuring youths are dealt with appropriately and stops them becoming hardened criminals. For more on this:

Removing the “marginals” will leave a hardened core of youths who have to be dealt with according to the full force of the law. At least one youth involved in the West Byfleet anti-social behaviour has parents who are not supportive and are not interested. The result will be Criminal Behaviour Orders.

Whilst the police are working on this, the landlords of the Sheer House site have not been idle. They have altered certain access ways and put special paint on railings. They are also planning to keep the loading bay entrance at the rear as clear as possible to make it less attractive to the youths, but that is still an active load area.

That leaves us, the citizens.
Andy makes it clear that the public should continue to report issues. Take videos if that does not put you at risk of abuse or threatening behaviour. Send them in with a 101. Andy apologises that his staff will not always be able to send officers around quickly as he continues to be short of officers (as reported at the meeting on 9th Oct), but please do not let that stop you reporting anything. The anti-social problem will be solved, but it may take a bit longer then he, and you, would like. The core offending youths will probably then move on to another area. Be aware of this in case you see or hear about ASB suddenly occurring when there was none before.

For those of you in West Byfleet or Pyrford we are still lacking a facebook “cover-Watch” to fill the big gap between Byfleet Village and Mayford/Old Woking social media Groups. A co-ordinator did offer her services but it was realised that she would struggle as she had no prior knowledge of facebook. So, again, I’m asking if there is someone who would be willing to set up the WB/Pyrford “Cover-Watch” on facebook and act as a co-Admin. Plenty of help and assistance will be given to get the Watch going, but we have to have at least one person committed to being the Admin of the closed Group. Having social media coverage for the area would have been useful when helping the Police deal with the anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

Please email me direct if you think you can help and we can have a chat over a cup of coffee and you can decide then if this is a role that you could volunteer to do.

Martin Stilwell 


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