Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

30% 'experience yob behaviour'

Around 12 per cent of anti-social behaviour is thought to be drink-related

Nearly a third of people experience some form of anti-social behaviour, according to official figures.

Some 30% of respondents to the 2011/12 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) said they had personally experienced or witnessed at least one anti-social problem in their area, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The most common form of anti-social behaviour experienced or witnessed - by around one-in-eight, or 12% - was drink-related behaviour, the ONS added. After drink-related problems, the next most common type of anti-social behaviour experienced or witnessed was groups hanging around on the streets.

Other categories include inconsiderate behaviour, loud music, vandalism, verbal abuse, littering and drug dealing. Three types of anti-social behaviour were experienced or witnessed by less than 1% of respondents - begging, dangerous dogs and people having sex in public.

The most significant decline was in the abandoned or burnt-out cars category, which peaked at 25% in 2002/03 and subsequently fell each year down to 4% in 2010/11 and in 2011/12.

A total of 15% of adults perceived a "high level" of perceived anti-social behaviour in their area in the last 12 months, showing no change from the previous year.

Meanwhile, one in 10 believed that the level of anti-social behaviour in their local area over the past few years had "gone up a lot", in comparison with almost half - or 49% - who believed the same but for the whole of England and Wales.

Around one-in-eight - or 12% - of business premises experienced at least one incident of anti-social behaviour in the period covered by the survey. Of these 12% of business premises that reported being affected, drink related behaviour and groups hanging around on the street were the most frequently experienced types of anti-social behaviour, affecting around one-third of such premises.

Younger respondents - those aged 16 to 24 years old and 25 to 34 years old were more likely to have a high level of perceived anti-social behaviour than older respondents, the ONS said. This might be because younger people are likely to spend more time out in their local area than older people and more likely to witness anti-social behaviour first hand.

Chief Constable Simon Cole, Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) lead on local policing and partnerships, said: "Police take a risk-based approach to dealing with crimes of this type, prioritising those most at harm. As this approach continues to be embedded across the service, forces will get better at identifying vulnerable victims and tailoring their response. The police service is committed to working closely with partner agencies and communities to further improve the way we all deal with anti-social behaviour."

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