Belfast Telegraph

Dramatic drop in anti-social activity

By Brendan McDaid

Anti-social behaviour has fallen dramatically by over a quarter in Londonderry.

Incidents fell by a similar level throughout the G District policing region. There were 726 fewer reports in Derry from the beginning of April to the end of August this year compared to the same period for 2010, new figures unveiled by the PSNI showed yesterday.

Foyle Area Commander Chief Inspector Jon Burrows said last night the introduction of many new initiatives and more police officers in neighbourhood teams was now netting results.

Chief Inspector Burrows said police were now working in partnership with every school in Derry to help stamp out anti-social activity.

“In particular we are working with schools on projects like CHOICES and we are trying to educate young people about anti-social behaviour and its impact on communities.

“We have increased the size of neighbourhood policing teams and they are prioritising anti-social behaviour.

“It is a priority for the public and therefore it is a priority for the police.”

A total of 2,077 incidents were recorded in Foyle, while anti-social behaviour also fell significantly in Limavady by 23% to 541 incidents, and Strabane by 21% to 501 incidents.

The total number of episodes of anti-social behaviour for G District, which includes Magherafelt, now stands at 3,643, more than 1,000 incidents fewer than the same period last year.

Mr Burrows said that thousands of items of alcohol had been seized from minors and also adults found breaching the council’s strict new by-law outlawing on-street drinking, which was introduced city-wide last year.

“We are also working with licensees and there are good relationships being built,” he said.

“We are also being tough on those who are making lives a misery through their selfish behaviour and we have assisted many communities financially in lighting and alley-gating schemes

which have reduced anti-social behaviour in hot spots.

“This is part of an ongoing drive to reduce crime and make the city safer.

“This year to date we have reduced overall crime by seven per cent, slashed burglaries by 30% and we are solving twice as many burglaries as we were last year.”

Commenting on the latest statistics, Councillor Thomas Conway, chairman of Derry District Policing Partnership, said: “I would like to congratulate the police and our partner organisations on these welcome statistics.

“Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is continuously identified as the primary concern for our residents.

“Indeed it is worth noting that Foyle is now showing similar ASB reduction to areas like Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey and Moyle.”

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