By Richard Staines
13 July 2010
Public sector workers, volunteers and citizens should
receive conflict resolution training to tackle low-level antisocial behaviour,
according to a think-tank.
In a report published today, the Royal Society of Arts
argues that while public concern remains high, citizens lack the confidence to
intervene and tackle antisocial behaviour. It
suggests replicating ‘the Woolwich model’ – in which first aid training spread
across the globe after courses were first established in the southeast London
town in 1878.
The Woolwich model – how
citizens can tackle antisocial behaviour says that police-centred
approaches have only limited success.
But training public servants such as public transport
workers, park keepers, street cleaners, parking enforcement officers, social
workers and teachers in conflict resolution would reduce antisocial behaviour.
Potentially influential community figures such as
shopkeepers, publicans and postal workers could also make a difference, says
Training should include self-protection and restraint and
how to appraise when to walk on by, intervene, or call the police.
Conflict resolution training would include how to defuse an
argument, forge an agreement and where appropriate, elicit an apology.
Report author Ben Rogers said: ‘We argue that community
training will build up a culture of intervention beyond the police and equip
citizens and public servants more generally.
‘If we’re to tackle antisocial behaviour then communities
need to be given the confidence that they can solve their own problems without
always resorting to state-led interventions.’