Facebook group used to help locals tackle crime and anti-social behaviour

  • The SK8 group on Facebook has nearly 15,000 members.
  • The locals use the group to help warn other members of the community about any anti-social behaviour and crime occuring in the area.
  • Ian O'Brien, admin of the group, explains the importance of the community working together.

Stockport is a large town in Greater Manchester and has a population of around 136,000.

14,500 of those inhabitants are members of the ‘SK8’ Facebook page which was set up back in March, 2014. 

Since this time, the Facebook group has been used by the thousands of locals to share advice, solve problems and even to seek help to find missing pets. Amongst other lighter hearted topics.

Ian O’Brien, administrator of the SK8 Facebook group and community member of 49 years, explained that the group originally started just as a mean to help find some local knowledge on the area but has since developed into a place for locals to warn each other of any crime or anti-social behaviour that has gone on in the area. 

A member of the SK8 community group, Ellie Walker, using the platform to warn others of occurrences in the area.

“SK8 is the biggest social platform in the area, with so many members helping to cover more than just the SK8 area. They also cover SK3, SK7 and more”.

“We are lucky enough to live in an area where you would only walk past our house if you lived in our neighbourhood, we therefore know most of the fact who walk past the house”, O’Brien said when asked if he had experienced crime himself in the area.

Although, O’Brien said, “police cuts exist all over the country, but we are more accurately aware of local crime thanks to social media and local news” when discussing the importance of social media in bringing local communities together. 

He went on to explain how himself, and many others, were completely unaware of what crime and other activities went on beyond their front doors before platforms such as Facebook began playing a vital part.

The Change 4 Cheadle Youth campaign was set up in late 2018 as a means to combat anti-social behaviour and criminal activity in the SK8 area by the introduction of a youth centre to help bring young people off the streets.

The centre would be staffed with trained behavioural and mental health workers who have experience helping guide youth and provide counselling as a means to get to the heart of the problems these young people may be facing.

“It may well be a positive step in having a youth centre to help eradicate anti-social behaviour and crime, but I also think that parents have to take responsibility on where their kids are going at night”, O’Brien said when explaining his opinions on the proposal.

“I have two daughters, aged 17 and 13 and there would be no chance of them being allowed out unless we both knew exactly where they were going”.