Police hail fall in anti-social behaviour

Official figures have recorded a fall in anti-social behaviour
Official figures have recorded a fall in anti-social behaviour

Police have welcomed figures which show anti-social behaviour in the county has halved in the past five years.

Data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, released by the Office for National Statistics, showed there were 31,333 instances of anti-social behaviour in 2012-13, a fall of 50 per cent since 2008-09, when 62,699 incidents were reported.

However, the rate of anti-social behaviour remains higher in Northamptonshire than across the East Midlands as a whole.

And the crime survey also suggests 31 per cent of people in the county say they have witnessed or experienced anti-social behaviour, higher than the England and Wales average.

Corby sector commander Insp Carl Sturman said the falling rate of anti-social behaviour was due in large part to the long-term approach taken by the police.

He said: “The trend is downwards, in line with crime coming down, because we are becoming smarter and using resources in a much better way.

“PCSOs working in schools has become the norm across the county now. The strategy of engaging more fully with young people has worked. The figures are a good reflection of that.”

Insp Sturman also said it was important to acknowledge the hard work of the police’s partner agencies, including councils and schools.

And he also said police had noticed the type of anti-social behaviour was less of a menace than that of a decade ago.

He said: “In 2002 or 2003 we were dealing with hooded youths who were terrorising people.

“Now our anti-social behaviour is kids playing football in the street or some noisy neighbours on a Friday night.”

Insp Sturman said the problem came in seasonal peaks and troughs, with summer being a prime time due to the summer holidays, the warmer weather and lighter evenings and also because neighbours with their windows open were more aware of disturbances.

Kettering police have dedicated two PCSOs to Operation Stay Safe, which is focusing on the problem caused by some youngsters over summer.

Sgt Andy Barnes: “The PCSOs will be attending incidents of anti-social behaviour and hotspots we have identified historically, and engaging with kids doing it with one of the street wardens from Kettering Council.”

Ann-Marie Lawson from the Corby Jam team, which runs a multi-partnership approach to tackling anti-social behaviour and criminal damage among young people, said she was not suprised by the figures.

She said: “I think sometimes young people are doing what young people do, and they don’t understand it’s problematic.”

And she said initiatives like Jam gave young people the chance to be part of something more positive and meaningful, adding: “We all want the best for young people.”

What the results show

The crime survey showed 12 per cent of county people had experienced or witnessed drink-fuelled anti-social behaviour, higher than both the East Midlands average (eight per cent) and the England average (10 per cent).

About 80 per cent of anti-social behaviour incidents in the county in 2012-13 impacted on individuals or on communities, with the remainder classed as environmental – where perpertrators have an impact on their surroundings.

That rate was the highest of any police force area in England and Wales.