CRIMEFIGHTERS have overhauled the way they deal with anti-social behaviour in Bolton.

Police and Bolton Council yesterday teamed up to launch a new nine-point plan to help victims of noise nuisance, graffiti attacks and vandalism.

The action plan was produced after 2,000 Bolton residents were quizzed by the council and police’s Be Safe partnership about how anti-social behaviour reports were dealt with.

Previously, people reporting such incidents would sometimes have to speak to a different police officer or council worker each time they called for an update.

Now, each complainant will be assigned a named officer who will keep them updated throughout their case.

The partnership has also agreed to provide an incident hotline; take all complaints seriously; remove offensive graffiti within 24 hours; and interview people within three days of making a complaint.

It will also give complainants practical and emotional support to deal with things like intimidation and agree with complainants how often the case officer will update them.

Finally, the partnership will train staff annually and ensure it works closely with partner agencies so there is progress on cases.

A dedicated website has also been set up so people can report anti-social behaviour online at Bolton Council’s executive member for Cleaner, Greener, Safer, Cllr Sufrana Bashir-Ismail, said: “Having to explain your problem every time you speak to someone can be off-putting and frustrating.

“However, with the introduction of new service standards, residents will be provided with a single point of contact and a range of support to help them through what can be a difficult and traumatic time.”

Superintendent Nad-eem Butt, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “If you are a victim of anti-social behaviour it can have a real, detrimental effect on your quality of life.

“Tackling this issue is a key priority for us and we know it is important to people living within our communities.”

You can report anti-social behaviour incidents by calling 01204 336500 and report offensive graffiti by calling 01204 333333, or 01204 336900 out of hours.

Tenants of Bolton at Home and housing associations, such as Contour, Great Places and St Vincent’s, should contact their housing provider.