Witney News - 50% less fear of anti-social behaviour in W Oxon

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50% less fear of anti-social behaviour in W Oxon

A survey has revealed that residents in West Oxfordshire feel safer and less threatened by anti-social behaviour than two years ago.

According to the Local Government User Satisfaction Survey (LGUSS), the overall perceived level of anti-social behaviour in the District has halved.

The survey is carried out every three years to measure the public's perception of anti-social behaviour and their views on how local authorities tackle and reduce the problem. People are questioned on seven areas, a methodology which is also used by the British Crime Survey. The issues include people being drunk or rowdy in public places, teenagers hanging around streets, noisy neighbours, drug dealing, vandalism, graffiti and criminal damage.

The latest results, compiled as Respect Indicator Scores, reveal a 50% drop overall in the number of people who feared there was a problem with anti-social behaviour between 2003/4 and 2006/7.

During the same period, there was a huge 76% drop in the perception of abandoned or burnt out vehicles in the District, and a 38% decrease in perceived levels of criminal damage and vandalism.

The public's perception of drunken or rowdy people in public also fell by 40%, compared to a 27% decrease in South Oxfordshire and 31% decrease in Oxford.

Thames Valley Police and West Oxfordshire District Council have been working in partnership to reduce anti-social behaviour. The West Oxfordshire Community Safety Partnership involves Police, the Council and other agencies, and works to combat such problems in local communities.

The Partnership includes the Anti-Social Behaviour Team whose work involves sending warning letters to each person who receives a fixed penalty notice for being drunk and disorderly in public. Their details are kept on record and if a person re-offends, an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC) can be considered.

Cllr Barry Norton, Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council said, "The results are good news for West Oxfordshire. The Council has been working hard to tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour and the survey shows we are faring well against other districts in the county in terms of local residents feeling informed about what we are doing. We will continue to work with other key agencies, including the Police, to make further improvements."

Dennis Evernden, Police Area Commander for West Oxfordshire said, "This survey brings excellent news for the District. Fifty per cent of those questioned believed parents not taking responsibility for the behaviour of their children is a big problem and this reinforces the view of many people that my officers and I speak to in the area. It is also great to see that the perceived level of criminal damage has fallen by 38%. The Police and District Council in partnership continue to work hard to reduce, and encourage reporting of, criminal damage within neighbourhoods."

The Community Safety Partnership is currently trialling criminal damage tri-signs in identified hot spot locations. The signs, produced in conjunction with Thames Valley Crimestoppers, encourage people to report the culprits of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

Posted : 15/05/2007 15:46:59

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