Residents impacted by antisocial behaviour across Gedling borough will see offenders in high-vis jackets being made to pay back the community in a new scheme launched this week.
The Immediate Justice project will ensure people who commit antisocial behaviour or low-level offences are made to clean up local streets, work in soup kitchens or take part in other positive community activities – within days of their offence.
The aim is to show communities in a very visible way that antisocial behaviour is being treated seriously and with urgency, whilst also acting as a deterrent to others.
It will only be available to eligible first-time or low-level offenders and gives them an alternative to going to court or paying fines – by spending a set amount of time repairing the harm they have caused to communities.
Persistent offenders will still be dealt with through robust criminal justice outcomes.
Nottinghamshire is one of ten areas across the country to receive funding to implement an Immediate Justice scheme.
Chief Superintendent Sukesh Verma, from Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Antisocial behaviour is a priority for us as we know the massive impact it can have on our communities.
“We fully support the Immediate Justice scheme as an additional outcome to put right the harm that offenders have caused to their local area.
“However, this is not the only tool to solve antisocial behaviour and those who continue to blight our communities can expect to receive a more robust approach.
“This can include Criminal Behaviour Orders, which will see persistent offenders banned from particular areas of the city and county to curb their offending behaviour.”
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire is leading the project, working in partnership with Nottinghamshire Police and each of the local authorities across the city and county.
Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “Antisocial behaviour is a blight on our communities and has a real impact on people’s quality of life.
“Despite this, we know that a lot of offences go unreported. Through Immediate Justice, we are aiming to change this.
“Immediate Justice means we can deliver some extra resource to not only clamp down swiftly on antisocial behaviour, but also give the community reassurance that it is being dealt with in a very visible way.
“My main hope is that this will give people confidence to report antisocial behaviour in the knowledge that it is treated seriously and will be dealt with.”
The project follows the award of £2m from the Home Office to tackle antisocial behaviour and is set to run until the end of March 2025.
To ensure swift action is taken in response to the antisocial behaviour, Immediate Justice placements are to be completed within 48 hours of the police completing the referral to the service.
Offenders who are referred to the scheme will be supervised by enforcement service Red Snapper, as they go out to carry out work in neighbourhoods across the city and county.
Each placement is likely to be slightly different due to the local geography and needs of the area but types of activities could include cleaning off graffiti or gardening works such as grass cutting, hedge trimming, dead leaf clearing, litter picking and sign cleaning.
Jonathan Hussey, Operations Director for Red Snapper, said:
“Leading the Nottinghamshire scheme is a privilege for us. It reflects our dedication to fostering positive community changes and tackling the challenges of offender rehabilitation.”
The scheme was officially launched at Arnot Hill Park in Arnold this week with participants helping to make environmental improvements.
As the scheme continues, communities will receive more of a say over the types of reparation activity and where this activity is required through a community consultation tool which is currently being developed.
Victims affected by the antisocial behaviour or low-level crime will be consulted with to ensure they support the referral and are satisfied with the outcome.