Anti-social crime figures on the rise

Insp Steve Evans
Insp Steve Evans
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Anti-social behaviour is on the rise in Leyland, with residents in all of the town’s neighbourhoods complaining about the problem.

Every PACT (Police and Community Together) priority list has anti-social behaviour at the forefront, and figures from police crime maps show that there were more reports of anti-social behaviour in January than in December.

The issue is also the ‘top’ crime in Leyland, beating things such as burglary, violent crimes, criminal damage and arson.

Police inspector for the area, Steve Evans, said: “We are aware of the issue and are trying to tackle these problems.

“I think it’s a cultural thing where groups of teens congregate on the streets, and I can understand how that can intimidate people, even if they aren’t actually being anti-social.

“Anti-social behaviour is at the top of the crime list, but it’s also at the top of our priority list.”

There were 96 cases of anti-social behaviour in January, particularly around Hawthorn Close off Longmeanygate, and St Andrew’s Way near Tesco.

It compares to 94 reported cases in December, but Insp Evans said incidents are actually dropping.

“I think the figures demonstrate that more people are reporting the incidents, which is a good thing because it helps us to identify the town’s hotspots,” he said.

“We’ve actually seen a decrease in the number of call-outs to the well-known areas where teens have congregated in the past, such as McDonalds on Churchill Way and Tesco in Towngate.

“We need to continue to work with the community to target the issue, especially with the nights getting lighter and school holidays coming up.”

He added that police are increasing their presence around the town, and are also working with schools to educate youngsters about such issues.

The number of reports of anti-social behaviour, which includes underage drinking, anti-social driving, youth nuisance and damage, has dropped from 138 cases in January 2011 to 96 in January this year.

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Email, or call Kay Taylor at the Guardian on 01257 264911