He said the statistics - collected by the police in order to work out government funding - showed a 12 per cent rise in disturbances. in 1994-5. The figures cover a range of incidents from drunkenness and domestic disputes to neighbourhood quarrels and trespass but can also include everyday disturbances. Mr Straw said: "Anti-social behaviour by neighbours, incivility and loutishness in town centres is rarely reflected in recorded crime figures.
"Yet it can hugely damage the quality of people's lives. It can lead to people boycotting town centres and becoming prisoners in their own homes."
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