Anti-Social Behaviour in Harrogate rises highest in North Yorkshire

Police stock pix.Picture Richard Ponter 134127f
Police stock pix.Picture Richard Ponter 134127f
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Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) rose higher in Harrogate last year than anywhere else in North Yorkshire, according to recent figures.

In North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan’s, Annual Report for 2014/15, Harrogate registered a 4.3 per cent increase from the previous financial year.

This was in stark contrast to the second highest rise of 1.1 per cent in Scarborough and the total average ASB rise of 0.3 per cent across North Yorkshire.

Ms Mulligan revealed that there were 218 more cases of ASB in Harrogate last year but blamed a small number of people causing a ‘disproportionate amount of nuisance’ in one part of Harrogate.

A rise of street drinkers in Bower Street in March also contributed to the rise in ASB figures. Plans were put in place to combat this after residents raised concerns at a multi-agency meeting.

“Anti-social behaviour can blight lives and businesses, and it was right that we dealt with this issue as quickly as we could,” Ms Mulligan said.

“There has been a spike in the instances which is not representative of the downward trend we have been seeing and the reasons are as explained.

“But, if you look at the trend, it’s lower than in 2012/13 and the police are confident that these instance has been resolved.”

In a report on Police Performance for 2014/15, County Commander Supt Mike Walker indicated there had been an increase of 234 instances of ASB in the outer Harrogate area.

This was due, in particular, to instances around Bilton and Woodfield and the Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) is now working with the community and partners to try and reduce the area’s problem.

While Ms Mulligan revealed that the most common instance of ASB was neighbour disputes, police in Harrogate have recently been forced to deal with youths expressing hostility towards them on Broadacres Estate.

Penny Taylor, SNT Inspector for Harrogate, said she was now part of Operation Organza to try and combat this but did stress that ASB instances had reduced this year in the Harrogate district.

In the period of April to July this year there were 1611 instances reported, compared to 1781 in the same period last year and 1704 in 2013/14.

She said: “We have got pockets of anti-social behaviour. We have had a couple of occasions where that has happened but luckily nobody has been injured.

“We are keen to focus our resources in the right places, where the problem is and will continue to do so.”