An avergage of 26 anti-social behaviour incidents occur every minute yet about three-quarters of incidents, about 10.5 million, go unreported, the chief inspector of constabulary said yesterday.
Tackling yobbish behaviour was often not seen as "real police work" and did not have the same status as crime, said Sir Denis O'Connor. The "retreat" of officers from Britain's streets since the 1970s had "undermined their connection with the public", he added. Sir Denis said forces had to recognise that in nine out of 10 cases the police were the first port of call for people reporting anti-social incidents and a new approach was needed "to restore civility to public spaces".
"The public do not distinguish between anti-social behaviour and crime," he said. "For them, it's just a sliding scale of grief."
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