Police, Local Authorities and other partner agencies are continuing their work across the Highlands and Islands in relation to ‘Operation Notebook’.
The aim of this initiative is ‘to make people feel and be safer by tackling anti-social behaviour in and around residential properties in our communities’.
Between 2014 and 2015, repeat calls to residential addresses across the Division in relation to anti-social behaviour dropped from 6,354 to 5,770.
This reduction highlights the collective effort made by Police, housing, local authority, third sector and other statutory agencies to target problematic addresses and the success of early intervention.
As a result of the drop in repeat calls, Police Scotland has reduced the number of police officer hours taken up attending these calls alone by almost 10% (9.1%) allowing officers to attend other calls from the communities across the Highlands and Islands.
There are many ways in which Police Scotland and the Crown Office can enforce penalties against repeat cases of anti-social behaviour.
These range from Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO) to non-harassment orders. Police also work closely with various local housing agencies where eviction notices become a necessary and viable option.
In one Operation Notebook case, police received in excess of 30 reports of anti-social behaviour in relation to a female tenant who rented a local authority owned property.
Police shared this information with the housing provider which resulted in a joint visit and warning to the householder by Police and Highland Council.
The calls from residents continued which resulted in further escalation through the multi-agency anti-social behaviour group.
From this Highland Council took legal action to evict the tenant.
Family support was also provided to the tenant and following the threat of eviction no further calls have been made by other residents, with no further instances of anti-social behaviour.
Shetland and Orkney have also seen recent Operation Notebook activity:
After repeat calls and several warnings to a tenant in council property in Kirkwall, complaints continued and the tenant was served with a Noise Abatement Notice.
This Notice was further breached and the tenant was subsequently evicted by Orkney Islands Council and provided alternative accommodation. There have been no further calls made about this tenant’s anti-social behaviour.
In the Shetland Isles, several calls were received from residents living in a council housing area regarding the anti-social and intimidating behaviour of one of the tenants towards some of the other residents.
Following a police investigation, the tenant was issued with a Non Harassment Order.
There have been no further reports of anti-social behaviour and the Local Authority have offered residents mediation services in order to improve relationships locally.
Police wish to reiterate that all calls regarding anti-social behaviour in the Highlands and Islands are reviewed every day, with information shared amongst partners to allow for early intervention and joined up robust action if necessary.
Chief Superintendent Julian Innes added: “By highlighting the ongoing work, Police would encourage anyone who is experiencing anti-social and intimidating behaviour from neighbours to get in touch.
“They do not need to live in fear and accept with this behaviour.
“We hope by highlighting the successful outcomes of Operation Notebook local communities of the Highlands and Islands can be reassured that we will work together to help ensure everyone feels safe and secure in their own homes.”
“Police would like to thank all our partner agencies for their tireless efforts to support this operation.”