After a Bournemouth councillor last week described the town as “a drunken mess”, the council has this week announced a new plan to tackle anti-social behaviour head on.
The trial scheme, due to begin on April 1st in northern parts of Bournemouth, will set up community panel meetings in an attempt to get wrong-doers to face the victims of their actions and acknowledge the damage or harm that they have caused. Actions for the offending person to make amends will then be agreed upon before an ‘Acceptable Behaviour Agreement’ is signed.
Bournemouth council say this could be anything from a written apology to undertaking work within the community.
The meetings will also include representatives from the council or the police depending on the situation. Sgt Lee Tharme of Dorset Police said that this approach “increases confidence in local agencies and strengthens community cohesion”.
The council is also appealing for volunteers from the community to come forward to sit on the panels and preside over the meetings.
Cllr David Smith, cabinet member for communities, said the scheme could be beneficial in multiple ways. He said: “It’s about the community having a voice in order to help resolve issues with all involved in an informal and effective way as well as preventing reoffending in the future.”
However, Liam Stones, a long-time resident of Bournemouth, thought that the proposed plans would not make much difference. He said: “It may discourage some people from bad behaviour, but it seems a lot of people that do these kind of things just don’t care about the consequences.”