The structure of community safety services and their officers has gone through a major overhaul in the last four years. The driver for this change was influenced by the Christie Commission Report 2011, to try and achieve greater prevention in anti-social behaviour (ASB) issues by creating a holistic service which focusses as much on providing support as pursuing enforcement. The service focusses on causality and how disruptive behaviour can be a manifestation of influential factors such as social inequality and personal trauma.
Supporting those participating and/or suffering due to ASB was previously dealt with by three different service areas within City of Edinburgh Council. Community Safety Officers handled ASB investigations, Housing Support Officers supported tenants and Family Support Officers worked with the family. These three services were relatively siloed but often dealt with the same people and households but for different presenting reasons.
To offer a more holistic and preventative approach, it was felt that merging the three roles into one Family and Household Support Officer (FHSO) role would be a more effective and resourceful alternative with a remit that extended beyond just responding to ASB, Noise and Nuisance behaviour to whole household support, where interventions were targeted to reduce and or prevent the behaviours from taking place.
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