Anti-social behaviour

"Anti-social behaviour is a broad term used to describe the day-to-day incidents of crime, nuisance and disorder that make many people’s lives a misery – from litter and vandalism, to public drunkenness or aggressive dogs, to noisy or abusive neighbours. Such a wide range of behaviours means that responsibility for dealing with anti-social behaviour is shared between a number of agencies, particularly the police, councils and social landlords."

Source: Home Office

Police recorded incidents of anti-social behaviour

Between 2010 and present (2013) there has been a declining trend in the number of ASB incidents recorded by the police in Herefordshire, albeit with some shorter term increases (see figure 1).  In September 2013 561 anti-social behaviour incidents were recorded by West Mercia Police in Herefordshire.  This was considerably lower than September 2012 (634), September 2011 (725) and September 2010 (865).  The rate of ASB in Herefordshire (43 incidents per 1000 head of population) is similar to the West Mercia area as a whole (45 per 1000 head of population).

Figure 1.  Number of anti-social behaviour incidents recorded by the police in Herefordshire 2010-2013
Figure 1.  Number of anti-social behaviour incidents recorded by the police in Herefordshire 2010-2013
Source: West Mercia Police

Anti-social behaviour incidents recorded by Herefordshire Council

Between April and October 2013 there were 1,241 incidents recorded by Herefordshire Council’s Environmental Health service.  Looking at the type of incident, noise incidents (of diverse origin) made up the greatest proportion of ASB reported incidents (45%) followed by fly-tipping (32%).  Looking in more detail at noise categories, noise-music (14%), noise-barking dog (12%) and noise-people (6%) were the most frequently reported types (as a proportion of all incidents).  Abandoned vehicles accounted for 8% of reported incidents and domestic bonfires 4%.  Note that incidents being reported by more than one person will be double counted in these figures.

Percentage of Herefordshire residents (18 and over) who perceive their local area to have a high level of anti-social behaviour

In the Herefordshire quality of life survey the following questions is asked:

Q32: In this local area, how much of a problem do you think the following are? 

Seven of the response categories (noisy neighbours, teenagers hanging around, rubbish and litter, vandalism, dealing/using drugs, drunk and rowdy people, abandoned cars) are combined to create a measure of antisocial behaviour previously known as the “Respect Agenda”.  The proportion of those saying that each is a ‘very big’ or ‘fairly big problem’ are combined to give the rate.

For Herefordshire as a whole, the Respect score (NI 17) in 2012 was 12%, similar to the figure in the 2008 Place Survey and less than 20% seen for England as a whole in 2008 and placing Herefordshire in the best quartile nationally in 2008.

Respondents who live in an area in the most deprived quartile in Herefordshire were more likely to perceive a high level of anti-social behaviour in their local area than were those from other areas in the county.

The West Mercia Crime and Safety Survey also asks about antisocial behaviour in relation to the following question

‘Q10.  In the past 3 months can you remember any actual times when you have felt fearful about the following happening to you in your local neighbourhood?’

In the year October 2012 to September 2013, 14% of county residents reported being fearful of antisocial behaviour occurring in their local area.  This was a notable decrease on the proportion in 2011-12 (19%).

Last updated: 10 June 2014