ARGUMENTS in the street, litter and graffiti and problems with anti-social behaviour made some parts of West Leigh not a very nice place to live.
But a unique approach to tackling the area’s problems has won Havant Borough Council’s Community Safety Team a top government award.
More than 300 incidents of antisocial behaviour and neighbour disputes were reported between 2007 and 2010 around Forestside Avenue and Oakshott Drive.
Some residents in the area were difficult to engage and sought to resolve issues themselves, escalating the problem.
After years of problems the team decided to get all the different agencies, such as the police, social services, the local bus company together rather than work separately at issues which could be sorted if met head on.
Without resorting to criminal charges the number of calls to police has dropped dramatically.
Graffiti has been cleared up, Havant and Waterlooville Football Club offered youngsters an area to play football so they don’t annoy neighbours in the street and a community day was held which brought families together and enabled them to settle their differences.
And the local bus company has agreed to drive more slowly through the estate prompted by fears drivers were going too fast – although a traffic survey showed they were not.
The council won the Tilley Award which was presented by Home Office Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice Nick Herbert.
He said: ‘The Tilley Awards are recognised across the world for highlighting the very best of British crime fighting and this year is no exception.
‘The finalists deserve to be proud to have made it through to the final round. They have beaten very tough competition.’