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Anti-social crimes increase in county

PUBLISHED: 09:12 21 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:28 05 July 2010

NEARLY 120 incidents of anti-social behaviour are recorded every day in Suffolk, it has emerged.

The county's Chief Constable, Simon Ash, expects there will be more than 43,000 incidents by the end of the current financial year - up nearly 1,000 compared to last year.

NEARLY 120 incidents of anti-social behaviour are recorded every day in Suffolk, it has emerged.

The county's Chief Constable, Simon Ash, expects there will be more than 43,000 incidents by the end of the current financial year - up nearly 1,000 compared to last year.

But the increase is most likely due to the public's cooperation in reporting anti-social behaviour, Suffolk police said.

There were 33,811 incidents of anti-social behaviour - such as criminal damage or vandalism, threatening behaviour, harassment, neighbour problems and noise - reported to officers in the first nine months of 2007/8.

This figure is expected to rise to 43,002 by the end of this financial year, according to the latest performance target report for 2008/2009.

The Chief Constable credits the proactive work carried out by the Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) for encouraging the public to report anti-social behaviour.

“This is likely to result in an increase in the number of incidents reported by the public and recorded by the police,” Mr Ash said.

The report, which will go before the Police Authority at a meeting this week, says most of the anti-social behaviour was seasonal.

The level of incidents increased to as much as 4,500 at the height of summer, before reducing again during the autumn and winter months, with around 2,750 incidents reported in December.

But Mr Ash advised the authority that there was no need to set any new targets.

“It is recommended that no target be set for anti-social behaviour, but the authority continues to monitor progress throughout 2008/2009 through regular reports,” Mr Ash concluded.

“This will enable more contextual information to be gathered in respect of the effort of SNTs and the continued increase in reported incidents.”

Matt Gould, chairman of the Suffolk Police Federation, said the increase was also a result of more Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) out on the streets and a change in the definition of anti-social behaviour.

“Although the PCSOs will not necessarily deal with the incidents, they are in a position to report them,” he said.

“What might have been considered 10 years ago as a bit of argy-bargy, would now be reported as anti-social behaviour, and it can be anything from a row between a girlfriend and boyfriend to something more serious.

“But while it is positive that more crimes are being reported, it is a key objective to get the number of incidents down, and we are working with other partner agencies to secure that objective.”

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