Lessons Learned from the Pandemic in Addressing Antisocial Behavior


5:03 p.m. January 5, 2022

Lessons for tackling anti-social behavior can be learned from the radical response to ending homelessness during the pandemic, a council official said.

In a briefing on Tuesday of the West Norfolk Council Environment and Community Panel, Officer Mark Whitmore explained how the authority has dealt with anti-social behavior in recent years.

He gave a case study of a street drinker who committed 99 intoxicated and disorderly offenses in 2017 alone.

The person had been homeless for about 15 years and was reportedly “very aggressive, abusive and intimidating when drunk”.

Two Antisocial Behavior Orders (ASBO) and two Criminal Behavior Orders (CBO) were issued, resulting in one night’s custody and a small fine.

This was followed by an injunction, but it was repeatedly violated by the serial drinker, who was sentenced to six months in prison.

“But that didn’t change behavior,” Mr. Whitmore said.

“We were looping with this person, unfortunately, being dealt with through criminal and civil proceedings.”

“In 2020, Covid hit, and we had an ‘all inclusive’ process for roaming and that in fact, if there could ever be a benefit to a global pandemic – which you can’t – being not really saying that there is – the ‘all-in’ for homelessness has given us the opportunity to reset this particular problem and the individual.

The approach mentioned by Mr Whitmore has seen the government tell local authorities to bring in “everyone”, helping anyone sleeping rough to move into self-contained accommodation.

The person in the case study received a rental that they were “really happy with”, as well as a support program.

Their anti-social behavior eased and they reconnected with their elderly parents, whom they now see regularly.

Conservative adviser Ian Devereux said the case study was “fascinating”.
– Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Conservative adviser Ian Devereux said: “It is fascinating that the pandemic actions that have addressed homelessness appear to provide a solution to many years of legal action – and I wonder if there is any potential for it. that as an approach.

“Are there any indications of actions we can take in the future? “


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