Anti-social behaviour problem revealed

ALMOST 10,000 complaints of anti social behaviour were recorded by police in Suffolk in just three months, it has emerged. Most of the incidents, reported between April and June this year, occurred in urban areas of the county and reached a peak at 8pm in the evening, analysis shows.

By Danielle Nuttall

ALMOST 10,000 complaints of anti social behaviour were recorded by police in Suffolk in just three months, it has emerged.

Most of the incidents, reported between April and June this year, occurred in urban areas of the county and reached a peak at 8pm in the evening, analysis shows.

It is the first time Suffolk police has measured the number and type of anti social behaviour complaints in the county, using the National Standard for Incident Recording (NSIR).


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Chief Constable Alastair McWhirter said the data will be analysed to identify “hotspots” and “trends” to get a clearer idea of the problems.

Information will then be passed to Safer Neighbourhood Teams to address the troubles, he added.

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The figures, presented in a report to Suffolk Police Authority, show that in the first quarter of this year, 9,399 incidents of anti social behaviour were recorded - more than 100 a day.

More than half of the incidents related to nuisance, rowdy or inconsiderate behaviour (4,742), while almost 15% (1,390) were connected with vehicle-related disorder.

Mr McWhirter said: “This is the first year that reported incidents of anti-social behaviour have been collated. This information will be analysed to identify any trends or hot spots to get a clearer picture of the problems.

“We work closely with our partners to address issues of anti-social behaviour and in the near future the role of Safer Neighbourhood Teams will be to address these issues at a local level.”

West Suffolk MP Richard Spring said last night he was not surprised by the high level of complaints about anti social behaviour.

“People are increasingly not putting up with rowdy neighbours, abuse, scratching of their cars and all these sorts of problems and I support them in that,” he said.

“Crime and anti social behaviour is not something that just exists in cities like the Government seems to believe.

“This is positive proof yet again that the idea that rural England doesn't need the resourcing of other parts of the country is simply not true.

“Suffolk Constabulary has considerable budget problems and does very well but the ratio of police to population is the lowest in the country.

He added: “It's very important we understand the extent of the problem. Suffolk needs proper resourcing.”

The report, which is due to be discussed at a meeting on Friday, also records performance in other categories of crime in the first quarter of the year.

Between April and July, the number of domestic burglary offences committed in the county fell 1% - reversing last year's sharp increase of almost 8%.

There were 520 domestic burglaries recorded between April and July this year compared to 525 during the same period last year.

During the same period, Suffolk Constabulary's burglary detection rate - the number of cases it has resolved by charging or taking action against an offender - rose by 8% (41 offences). This means 19% of all domestic burglaries are currently solved by Suffolk police.

Although overall crime increased by 1.3% during the first quarter of the year, violent crime rose by only 0.8% and there were no additional 'more serious' violent crime offences committed in a public place than this time last year.

However, Suffolk police is reporting a 15.4% increase in vehicle crime, from 1,291 in 2005/05 to 1,490 this year. This equates to an extra 199 offences.

Meanwhile, thefts from motor vehicles increased by 13.6% (128 offences) and thefts of motor vehicles by 20.2% (71 offences).

The most common types of anti social behaviour between April - June 2006

nRowdy/nuisance/inconsiderate behaviour 50.5% (4,742)

nVehicle related nuisance behaviour/inappropriate vehicle use 14.8% (1,390)

nInappropriate use of public space 6.1% (576)

nRowdy/nuisance neighbours 6% (565)

nHoax calls to emergency services 5.3% (500)

nAbandoned vehicles 5% (469)

nMalicious communications 3.6% (343)

nNoise - vehicles or other 1.6% (152)

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