Police to tackle anti-social behaviour

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary have launched a new scheme to help offenders curb their anti-social behaviour.

DEVON and Cornwall Constabulary has launched a new and unique approach to tackling anti-social behaviour.

The Anti-social Behaviour Diversion Scheme, which is the first in the country, launches today and has been designed specifically for offenders in Devon and Cornwall.

It will run alongside two other schemes which are being launched at the same time, the new Cannabis Diversion Scheme for possession of cannabis and the Alcohol Diversion Scheme for alcohol-related disorder.

The schemes are aimed mainly at people who are given a Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) for minor offences and will give them the opportunity to attend an awareness course for �40 rather than pay the �80 fine.

They are aimed at encouraging offenders to review their behaviour and the consequences.

The scheme will include offences such as criminal damage, shoplifting, wasting police time and behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

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The awareness course for antisocial behaviour is run by Initiative South West and the Telephone Box Performance Company, who work with offenders and ex-offenders, developing arts programmes that address issues such as drug addiction, social exclusion and repeat offending.

The Alcohol Diversion Scheme and Cannabis Diversion Scheme will also give people the opportunity to attend drug or alcohol awareness course.

A number of partners have worked together to develop the new initiatives including police, probation, fire, antisocial behaviour co-ordinators, local safety partnerships, Freedom Social Projects and a number of key third sector (voluntary) organisations.

It is hoped the courses will become self-funded with the money given by participants being used to cover running costs.