Create your own Brochure

[Skip to content]

Community Justice Portal
Search our Site
Sunday 22 April 2018
Browse our site

Home Office Publication: Mutley Greenbank Antisocial Behavour Project - Plymouth City Council - 2011

Main project objectives

  • To enable the local strategic partnerships to understand the problems experienced by residents in the South East locality (specifically Mutley Greenbank), and to develop a process of ensuring that we collectively tackle these shared issues. 

Organisation name:  Plymouth City Council

Partnership agencies contributing to this project:

  • Devon and Cornwall Police
  • Councillors
  • Representatives from Plymouth City Council
  • Local university
  • Local university Student’s Union

Areas addressed by project:

  • Antisocial behaviour
  • Youth crime
  • Criminal damage & arson
  • Vandalism
  • Alcohol related crime
  • Drug dealing

Did the project involve an offender?  Yes
Sex of Offender:  Both
Type of Offender:  Youth crime
Age of Offender:  Various ages
Did the project involve a victim?  Yes
Age of the victim?   Various ages
Sex of the victim?  Both
Type of victim:  Community residents
Region where project took place:  South West
Type of area that project took place within:  Urban
Start and end date:  Project began 2010 - ongoing
Financial costs of project:  £99,876


  • At the outset of the project a number of key existing data sources were reviewed including enforcement team reports, police data on antisocial behaviour and criminal damage, data from private and social landlords, data from youth services, the parking enforcement team and waste management organisations
  • It was recognised that the neighbourhood had undergone significant change in recent decades with for example, the growth of the night time economy and its impact on the demographic and economic profile of the community.  One aspect being the growing impact of antisocial behaviour as identified through the Partnership and Communities Together (PACT) meetings
  • As well as the anecdotal evidence, data fed back from neighbourhood meetings indicated that in terms of antisocial behaviour, Mutley Greenbank ranked 3rd worst of the 43 neighbourhoods in Plymouth in 2009/10
  • An application was submitted to the Customer Led Transformation programme in January 2010 outlining a programme of work to start in June 2010 with the emphasis being on applying a customer insight approach and collaborative working between the key service delivery providers to help better understand the issue and ultimately to use this to redesign the partners response to antisocial behaviour in the neighbourhood
  • The residents of Mutley Green were consulted through questionnaires, web tools and via face to face attendance at meetings as an ongoing element of the project


  • From a community perspective there was a feeling that much more could be done to combat antisocial behaviour.  Residents reported that there was insufficient evidence of service providers addressing the issue.  People largely felt unable to engage with public service providers or to influence the antisocial behaviour
  • The rationale for the project was further influenced by findings from the city wide Place Survey which indicated that Plymouth residents were largely dissatisfied with the way public services  were tackling this issue.  Consequently this project was seen as an opportunity to support and pilot a new approach which would lead to improvements in how antisocial behaviour was addressed
  • Four key issues that reflected the concerns of local residents were identified through this work including: noise, unruly behaviour, waste management and antisocial drinkers in Freedom Fields Park


The residents were consulted and engaged throughout the project including: 

  • the production of a leaflet promoting the project and the findings from the first Place Survey
  • two questionnaires – before and after the specific interventions described below
  • various reporting tools including the promotion of a web based electronic reporting and mapping tool
  • a project web page
  • attendance at community events and meetings including a community clear up campaign.

The Project Steering Group put in place four key priority interventions and work began on delivering these from October 2010.  The four interventions were:

  • Nights of Action – These were highly visible multi-agency operations, undertaken primarily by staff from the council’s public protection service and the police (including community support officers and special constables), with actions focussing on the evening and night time economy and targeted littering and waste, rowdy behaviour and public disorder especially in relation to licensed and food premises
  • The implementation of a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) for the Freedom Fields/Tothill Park area in April 2011
  • Student awareness raising – A wide range of actions were agreed with the aim of increasing awareness with students and increasing confidence in the community for instance information in student packs, information posted on wall of Student’s Union, postings on University Facebook Site, articles in the university newsletter etc.
  • North Hill litter control – A variety of measures were proposed to deal with the issue of litter in the North Hill area, including active intervention and targeting of people who drop litter, increasing number of litter bins, evidence gathering for future enforcement where necessary

Evaluation Details: 

Pre and post crime data was used as well as survey data administered pre and post intervention.


  • Everyone involved in the project reported that it was a success because of the use of customer insight.  The customer insight enabled the partners to gain a better understanding of the underlying antisocial behaviour issues and hence to develop focused approaches to tackle the issues that were of specific importance to residents within Mutley Greenbank
  • Nights of Action – These deemed a success by all involved, they provided a highly visible demonstration of everyone working together.  The university has since volunteered to fund 3 further nights in the next academic year
  • The implementation of a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) for the Freedom Fields/Tothill Park area delivered a drop in drink related antisocial behaviour
  • Student awareness raising – this will be an ongoing activity as new students arrive however the project was successful in involving the Student’s Union and having the student union on board to consult with in the future
  • North Hill litter control – extra litter bins were provided, which had built in fire repressing systems which have reduced the fire and litter problem in the area
  • In addition, savings were made as a direct result of the implementation of the DPPO whereby in April 2011 when the DPPO was first launched, 15 calls were received from residents reporting an antisocial behaviour issue.  In the following month of May the figure had dropped by 47% to 8 calls.  According to the threat risk assessment completed by the Devon and Cornwall strategic analyst the investigation (including call out) of each antisocial behaviour incident of this type costs in the region of £1,750.  This equates to a saving of £12,250 in one month for this intervention

Other Benefits: 

The high visibility of the approaches taken during this project has delivered a measurable improvement (from 22 – 30%) in resident’s belief that they can influence local services.

The use of customer insight within this project, to understand the specific needs of an area and group and hence to focus the use of scarce resources in an effective way, was such a success that the participating organisations have agreed to utilise these techniques in other areas both individually and in partnership.

All the partners involved in the project reported an improvement in partnership working, including:

  • an understanding of each others’ perspectives and problems
  • a willingness to share information and to collaborate on improving their Customer Insight
  • an acceptance that they must not only cooperate behind the scenes but must also be seen to be working together

Most important lessons:

A number of challenges have been identified that need to be addressed if the benefits delivered within this pilot are to be extended to other geographic areas and across a range of services:

  • It is clearly advantageous to focus on the problems and issues specific to an area.  This requires detailed customer insight and to achieve that a number of approaches were taken.  One in particular, the questionnaire, was useful in providing a detailed insight to the perceived problems in the area.  However, it is too expensive to be maintained.  It is therefore necessary to carry out a review of the way data is regularly collected and utilised
  • This project helped to improve liaison and coordination between the various partners.  This needs to be maintained at both the strategic and practical levels
  • The role of enforcement needs to be assessed.  In some cases this was clearly successful e.g. the DPPO, however, in other cases, the council should avoid being too eager to impose penalties
  • Even within the partnership, there appeared to be a lack of engagement in some cases.  For example, at the start of the year clubs and bars etc hand out masses of leaflets to students, many of which end up as litter.  How should this be managed? By enforcement or improved litter picking and disposal arrangements?

Contact Name:  Mark Rich (Partnership Coordinator)
Email Address: 
Organisation:  Plymouth City Council

Download the full document at the Home Office website.

Logo of the Home Office (UK)

Date Published:




Home Office