The study by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary shows there are 14 million incidents a year, but only 3.5 million reported to the police.
Ruins lives and scars communities
Theresa May said: ‘Antisocial behaviour ruins lives and scars communities. This report, yet again, shows that for too long this problem has been sidelined and victims, especially those who are vulnerable, have been let down.
‘The public are rightly concerned about levels of anti-social behaviour and police and other local agencies must work together to tackle it. Even in a tough financial climate, tackling antisocial behaviour must be core business.
‘The government will ensure the right tools and powers are available to crack down fast on perpetrators. And our plans to make police more accountable through elected Police and Crime Commissioners will put communities at the heart of the solution.’
The police watchdog’s wide-ranging review looks at how well forces tackle anti-social behaviour, backed up by a MORI survey of more than 5,600 people.
It reveals a difference in the way the public and police perceive anti-social behaviour. Nine out of ten people say the problem is one for the police to deal with, and believe antisocial behaviour and crime are the same thing.
However, police do not always take the issue seriously because they do not regard it as real crime. The report said that although all 43 forces said that antisocial behaviour was a priority, the police response was patchy because officers treated the incidents differently to recordable crimes.
‘Problems that are not considered criminal were then discounted as “not real police work,”’ the chief inspector of constabulary Sir Denis O’Connor told the BBC.