Reported crime fell while anti-social behaviour spiked during lockdown
PUBLISHED: 14:52 17 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:52 17 June 2020
Anti-social behaviour (ASB) rose by over 30 per cent in April compared to last year, according to new data released by the police.
April was the first full month of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and it’s impact saw an increase in certain crimes, but a drop in crime overall by 17.5 per cent.
ASB rose from 268 cases in April 2019 to 355 cases in April 2020, up from 281 cases the month prior.
With the exception of ASB and robbery – which rose from two cases to five – every category saw a lower rate of crime compared to the previous year.
There was a notable 42 per cent drop in criminal damage and arson with only 64 reported cases compared to 112 in 2019.
Violent and sexual offences were down 18 per cent from the previous month and compared to April 2019, with 223 reported incidents.
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Herts police believe the rise in ASB is a consequence of residents spending more time at home.
Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Inspector Kash Hussain said: “I am pleased that there has been an overall decrease in the volume of crime and this is thanks to a combination of proactive operations and patrols as well as working with our partners such as the council.
“Anti-social behaviour remains an issue that we are working hard to fix and since the lockdown, we have noticed an increase in neighbour disputes as residents are spending more time at home.
“We fully understand the impact this has on residents and my team have been working hard to address this and ensure that residents’ quality of life is as good as it can be during this unprecedented and difficult time.
“In particular, we have been working closely with the council’s anti-social behaviour and housing teams to take proportionate but firm action against those involved in neighbour disputes and ASB.
“As lockdown restrictions ease, we will continue patrolling ASB hotspots so that Welwyn Hatfield remains a safe and pleasant place to live and work.
“We always welcome the community’s feedback and I would encourage you to get in touch using the Constabulary’s public feedback service echo.
“Please let us know what matters most to you about policing in Welwyn Hatfield. Simply go to bit.ly/police-welhat and have your say.”
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