Residents feel ‘unsafe’ as two-thirds of antisocial behavior reports ‘unattended by police’

Two-thirds of antisocial behavior reports made in the West Midlands over the last three years went unattended by a police officer, according to a freedom of information request. Critics claim nuisance youths have been allowed to “run rampant” and have called for significant reforms to make residents feel safer.

A total of 127,942 antisocial behavior reports were made to West Midlands Police between 2019 and 2021. Of those, 43,363 resulted in a police officer visiting the scene of the incident – the seventh-lowest proportion of 34 forces that responded to freedom of information requests.

It means that over the three-year period, officers were not sent out to 84,579 reported incidents, two-thirds of all cases. It’s sparked accusations that crimes which are judged to be low-level but have a real impact on local communities aren’t being taken seriously.

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Reports of antisocial behavior often involve groups of youths causing trouble or being noisy, making residents’ lives a misery, and can also include neighbor disputes. The Liberal Democrats, who obtained the data, pointed the finger at the Government, saying police forces had been stripped of resources over the last decade, meaning they had been forced to prioritize which incidents to send officers to.

They raised concerns the public could lose faith in the system if they do not feel their complaints are being listened to. Leader Ed Davey said: “Too many people feel unsafe just walking down their own streets, because the Conservatives have let antisocial behavior run rampant. For years this Government has failed to give police forces the officers or resources to tackle this scourge properly. ”

Across all 34 police forces, 1.6 million of 3.6 million reported incidents were attended by an officer at the scene (44.8%). That means around two million were unattended. And 20 forces recorded a police officer attending fewer than half of reported incidents.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council said “unprecedented demand” on the police meant they often have to prioritize their resources towards the cases of greatest risk and harm. An NPCC spokesman added: “Each case will be individually assessed when a report comes to the control room.

“In some cases there may not be enough evidence, intelligence or reports of vulnerability for police to act immediately.” He added that people have a right to live their lives free from intimidation, and that it was important for the police, councils and other agencies to work together to combat antisocial behavior.

The Home Office was contacted for comment.

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