Fearless.org and SCSN encourage a national youth conversation on anti-social behaviour

Fearless.org – the youth service of independent charity Crimestoppers – and the Scottish Community Safety Network (SCSN) are this week working in partnership to encourage young people to learn more about anti-social behaviour and how best to make their communities safer.

Based on the findings of the SCSN ‘Picture of Anti-Social Behaviour in Scotland’ report released last year, the organisations are keen to dispel myths and challenge stereotypes that young people are often responsible.

The key findings from the report show: 

  • Levels of ASB have decreased over the past 10 years and the public have noticed this decline in their areas. 29% of adults in 2017/18 thought ASB was common in their area, which is down from 46% in 2009/10. 
  • Nevertheless, those living in the most deprived areas, in socially rented housing and in large urban areas, as well as younger people, are more likely to perceive ASB issues in their area.
  • While it is an improving picture, there is a strong link between ASB and area deprivation, possibly arriving as a result of intensively-neighboured housing and a lack of community facilities and social services.
  • Perceptions of ASB and who engages in it are also often inaccurate and influenced by stereotypes.
  • Young people are LESS likely to commit ASB than adults.
  • Court action for ASB has decreased over the last 10 years, reflecting a shift from treating ASB as an issue of law and order that requires sanctions to one of addressing perpetrator vulnerability to prevent ASB.

The community safety duo will run a Scotland-wide social media campaign on Snapchat,Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to reach out to young people to give them more information and explain where to go to for advice or support.

Lyndsay McDade, National Youth Projects Coordinator for the charity Crimestoppers, said:

“As soon as I read the findings from SCSN’s national report, I was keen to create a campaign to reassure and educate young people across Scotland about anti-social behaviour.

“Often young people can be seen as a problem – particularly around ASB issues – but I think it’s hugely important to challenge that misconception and really value the positive contribution our young people make to our communities, particularly as we begin to see some light after such difficult period.

“Unfortunately, anti-social behaviour does still happen and it’s important for people to recognise the impact and know what to do. You can speak to your Local Council in the first instance or, if someone is in danger, ALWAYS contact Police on 999.

“Alternatively, if you know or suspect who is responsible for serious forms of ASB such as deliberate fire raising or violence you can speak up by visiting our charity’s website Fearless.org and complete a simple and secure form. We guarantee you’ll stay 100% anonymous.

“We can’t trace IP addresses or any contact details that could identify you. Nobody will ever know the information came from you.”

Lorraine Gilles, Chief Officer at Scottish Community Safety Network, said:

“We are delighted to be working in collaboration with Fearless.org on this project, which raises awareness of anti-social behaviour, young people’s relationship with it and the true picture of this issue in Scotland today.  After we launched our ‘The Picture of Anti-Social Behaviour in Scotland’ research last year, one of our key outcomes was to challenge some of the stereotypes around anti-social behaviour and shine a light on some very common misconceptions.  At the end of the day, we will all be safer if we understand anti-social behaviour better and deliver services appropriately.  This project continues our ongoing dialogue around how we approach this issue from an asset-based, ‘pro-social’ and trauma-informed lens that works with and considers all members of a community.

You can view the Fearless.org campaign website page here.