Baroness Newlove has published an excellent report (pdf)today on tackling anti social behaviour. Her approach is informed by a grass roots, bottom up perspective working with seven neighbourhoods around the country. Talk about local helped out with a workshop for the people Baroness Newlove was working with. From that, talk about local is about to start working with people in Offerton to help them find a more effective voice online.
We are delighted that Baroness Newlove’s report acknowledges that technology can help in tackling local issues:
‘Technology is, however, transforming the way we can connectand create new networks, share information quickly and openly, as well as allowing us to fit community action more easily around other commitments. Think about how you could use IT to create your own community forum. Setting up an email group, a social network site or a blog requires far less technical skill or knowledge than you might think, and by using a free blogging platform it can be done quickly and cheaply. It will help you publicise your work and put more pressure on services’
For talk about local this complements our experience of working with West Midlands Police, the Met, Staffs Police, NPIA and ACPO where leading police officers share this perspective. If you would like some help in your area to find a voice online then mail us email@example.com – we can work direct with a community group or informal bunch of neighbours to help you find a voice online that works for you – like for instance this site in West London. Or we can work on behalf of a local public body such as a police force or council to give local people their own voice that isn’t controlled or run by the public body, such as this site in Broxtowe where the council engaged us to work with residents.
The report also case studies the impact the web had in Kings Cross to help galvanise local partnerships:
In 2006, William Perrin had been active in his Kings Cross London neighbourhood for several years tackling crime and anti-social behaviour. But he was overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of information that an active community generates. So he started up a local (or hyper-local) website http://www.kingscrossenvironment.com/ where he started writing and posting up photos and videos about what was going on ‐ drug dealing and sex worker detritus, people lighting bins in garages and dumping fridges, acute noise pollution by local businesses ‐ and bring it to the attention of the council, police, local businesses and other residents. The website also let other people know what was going on, good and bad and helped people act together rather than alone. The photos on the website today show how the area has become a much nicer place to live as a result of a huge community effort.
The Kings Cross website now has a network of 20 local people who send in information and a handful of core volunteers who do most of the pulishing. And it is not just about crime and anti-social behaviour but a local website where people can find out about all the interesting things to do locally. Will suggests the greatest prize is:
â€œMaking people realise they are not alone in trying to get things done. The website has helped us work really closely in real time with our councillors and public services to fix local problems.â€
He has now started up an organisation http://talkaboutlocal.org.uk/ which can help you set up your local website
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