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"You Can't Just Turf Out Problem Families on Littlemoor", says Social Worker


3:47pm 7th March 2013

Social workers say evicting problem families on the troubled Littlemoor estate is not the way forward.

Synergy Housing, which owns homes on the Weymouth estate, is tackling anti-social families through the courts and in some cases giving tenants 48 hours' notice to leave.

It's after a recent spate of youth crime that's included a number of arson attacks on cars and a children’s play area.

But managers at Dorset's Youth Offending Team want more time invested in their Family Intervention Programme.

They say a lot of these families are living in poverty and they don't have the money or resources to up and leave.

Assistant Manager of the Dorset Youth Offending Ian Green told Wessex FM it's not about turfing people out; "Everybody would like people to change but that's not easy. The family intervention programme is only in its infancy and is just getting going.

Our aim is to bring about long term change to those families who are struggling. We would much rather people change, live law abiding lives and contribute to the community.

It's a last resort and it's a threat that people have to move or will be forced to move if they can't make those changes"

Colleague Merissa Bradbury is a Youth Offending Officer covering Weymouth, Portland and Dorchester; ”It can be hard to engage families but the intervention programme does work and change is achievable. The first thing is to get a family to engage and meet with us, to forge a relationship and work together. We then set certain goals for the young person that is achievable.

"You can't give up on the young people!“

Weymouth Police have been granted new powers to deal with youths involved or suspected to be involved in anti-social behaviour on the Littlemoor estate.

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