Anti-social behaviour incidents increase

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The amount of incidents of anti-social behaviour across the local policing district rose by 8%, figures have revealed.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland published its annual crime statistics for 2016/17 which showed a rise in these types of incidents in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon.

In 2016/27 there were 6,108 incidents of anti-social behaviour compared to 5,614 the year before, which is an increase of 494 (8%).

Meanwhile the number of drug seizures and arrests by policing district fell by 89 incidents, one of the largest drops in Northern Ireland.

The report stated that there were 483 incidents in 2016/17 compared to 572 the year before which is 89 fewer.

There was also a drop in the amount of reported domestic incidents with 3,001 in 2015/16 compared to 2,915 during the same period in 2016/17, a decrease of 86 incidents.

Speaking on the release of the figures Carla Lockhart welcomed the reduction in drugs and domestic violence cases but expressed her concern about the rise in Anti Social behaviour incidents.

“Clearly the good work by the PSNI has had an effect with the reduction in drug related incidents. Domestic violence is a blight, which for many years was a taboo subject.

“With more investment, support services and assistance from the justice system we are now seeing a decline and that is to be welcomed.

“The rise in the number of anti social behaviour incidents is concerning. It is perhaps a sign of less police resources engaging in community policing and certainly something I intend to address with senior Police Officers.

“We need to see these cases analysed and a structured, targeted police response.”

The report stated that in terms of anti-social behaviour, Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon showed falls in each year between 2008/09 and 2011/12. Levels have generally increased since then, with 2016/17 representing the fourth highest level recorded in the district