Op Relentless Community Fund helps tackle ASB
This week has seen the Op Relentless Community Fund return for a second year. The Fund was set up in 2021 to help and support Dorset-based community groups and charities with initiatives and projects aimed at tackling ASB by taking appropriate action for their local area.
Applications for funding from £100 to £5,000, are now open for local projects and initiatives that reduce ASB and/or increase the public feeling of safety in areas disproportionately affected by ASB – so please go online to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioners website to find out more.
Over the past year, I have been to visit some of the ten projects that received funding from the last round to see how they have put the money to good use, and I would like to share with you what they had to say about how the funding has helped.
Weymouth Skate Park Association
‘We received funding that paid for 120 free hours of after-school skateboarding coaching sessions for young people in groups of six. We hoped to create a safe, monitored environment where the young people could be with their peers and be part of something.
The funding has helped massively and in so many different ways - from offering free evening sessions to all here at the skatepark to offering free skateboarding lessons to encourage new riders into our community.’
‘We have made sure that we keep young riders coming here who we know are struggling with peer pressure, especially with low-level ASB that they find hard to get out of being involved in. Coming to the skate park regularly has helped them to pull away from this type of behaviour and become part of a supportive community.’
Whilst we are not a youth club, we do find ourselves supporting our local young people in many different ways. Getting them to come here regularly is such a good thing. They feel very safe here and very well supported. We can help them to turn things around that may be going wrong for them.’
BCHA Respite Rooms
‘We applied for funding so that we could partner with The Horse Course in Weymouth and enrol five of our Respite Room customers with a history of high-level ASB on to the Restart programme, which delivers high-impact equine-assisted interventions.
The ReStart programme specialises in working with individuals who are hard to reach, disengaged, and ‘stuck’; it seeks to train these individuals to ‘recognise and manage anxiety or dominance’ which can lead to them being shut down or aggressive; potentially leading to ASB.’
‘The course has made an incredible difference to the ladies we support and provided them with a positive distraction. It has equipped them with therapeutic and mindfulness skills that may not be accessible to them whilst they are in the early stages of substance use recovery.
Providing the ladies with a positive distraction has had a positive impact on the community, as it has kept them away from substance misuse and anti-social behaviour for the duration of their sessions. Having access to a course like this has given the ladies the encouragement and motivation they need to believe that they can overcome the barriers in front of them.’
Christ Church and community hub Creekmoor
‘Although Creekmoor is seen as a relatively safe area, ASB was increasing near the church and the surrounding area, so we applied for funding to have CCTV installed. The CCTV covers the surrounding areas, the community centre, and the road that leads to a local pub.
The entrance to the church building is also covered by the new CCTV which has offered protection to staff and community groups who use the building. As the Minister's PA, I work in the office at the church. With the Community Hub opening up to the public I feel much safer with the CCTV installed. From the office, and the other rooms within the building, there is no way to visually see who is entering the building without the CCTV.’
I hope by hearing from past beneficiaries of the fund, you can see that there are a vast array of alternative ways we can work together to tackle anti-social behaviour and make Dorset the safest county.
If you are interested in applying for the Op Relentless fund, please visit the fund page here.
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner