Antisocial behaviour is a persistent problem that afflicts neighbourhoods in urban and rural areas across the country but, due to its prevalence and unpredictability, is difficult to police. In 2022, police forces in England and Wales received over one million reports of antisocial behaviour, although there were likely to be many more incidents that were unreported, either because the crimes were deemed to be little more than a nuisance or residents believed that action would not be taken against the perpetrators.
Nevertheless, antisocial behaviour causes significant harm to local communities. In this article, we will explain how dog handler security plays a crucial role as part of our Local Authority Support (LAS) services.
What Is Antisocial Behaviour?
Antisocial behaviour is defined as behaviour by an individual or group that causes alarm, distress, or harassment to people living in other households. The crime assumes many guises, including:
- Intimidation and bullying
- Verbal abuse and swearing
- Drinking and drug abuse in public places
- Vandalism and graffiti
- Dog fouling
- Inconsiderate or illegal parking
What Is A Dog Handler And How Can One Help In Tackling Anti-social Behaviour?
A dog handler is a professional security officer who is accompanied by a trained and reliable dog. Dogs, which should be registered with the National Association of Security Dog Users (NASDU), accompany their handlers as they complete a variety of duties, from random patrols around antisocial hotspots to confronting offenders engaged in criminal activity.
An Effective Deterrent
A highly visible security officer and dog patrol will provide an effective deterrent against antisocial behaviour. If individuals or groups of individuals are planning to cause mayhem in the community, knowing that they are being watched and may be challenged will often convince them to behave in a more responsible and law-abiding manner.
Preventing Problems Before They Occur
Dog handlers conduct regular patrols of areas known as a hotspot for trouble, making their presence known. This allows them to gather intelligence before antisocial behaviour occurs, for example large groups gathering in public spaces, so that action can be taken to resolve problems before they occur.
If antisocial behaviour does happen, it’s critical that it can be dealt with swiftly and professionally to minimise the distress caused to residents or more serious offences, such as violence, from occurring. A dog handler can quickly intervene, and the presence of a trained dog will often help de-escalate even the most dangerous situations.
Happier, Less Fearful Residents
The presence of dog handlers in communities can provide residents with the reassurance that antisocial behaviour will be detected and dealt with quickly. Locals will be more likely to venture onto the streets in confidence, knowing that a watchful eye will respond to trouble as soon as it occurs.
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