Call for clarity over ‘surprise figures’ showing dramatic anti-social behaviour decrease

Cllr Barry Lewis said people are discouraged from reporting incidents

By Local Democracy Reporter Simon Finlay

Authorities have been urged to give greater clarity over surprise figures showing a dramatic decrease in antisocial behaviour (ASB) in Kent.

Statistics show an 18% fall in ASB at a time when some communities feel the opposite is true.

A Kent Community Safety Partnership (KCSP) report to Kent County Council (KCC) said between April 2022 and March 2023 Kent Police recorded 27,528 incidents of ASB. In the previous 12 months, that figure was 32,564.

Kent Police say that some of the increase for the previous year was due to ASB reports while Covid-19 restrictions were in place, but are unable to say how much.

The main types of antisocial behaviour were rowdy or nuisance gatherings in public; drunken and rowdy behaviour; neighbour disputes/nuisance and motor vehicle nuisance on roads.

Police Supt. Peter Steenhuis admitted he did not know how much of the decrease in ASB incidents this year was down to a spike during Covid-19.

He said: “Antisocial behaviour is still an important issue to us. We still want to address it as it is key to the community.”

In Margate, Cllr Barry Lewis (Lab) said that people are discouraged to report ASB and crime because it is “too difficult” to reach the police on the non-emergency 101 line.

He said: “In Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs there is a major problem with ASB because of cutbacks. Crime is on the increase but reported crime is on the decrease because no one can get through.”

KCSP is behind the Kent Community Safety Agreement (CSA).

KCSP chairman Mike Hill OBE says in his introduction to the CSA: “Whilst enforcement of the law will always play a major part in community safety, much can be done to prevent problems before they arise and a great deal of effort is devoted to supporting and safeguarding vulnerable people, tackling issues of substance misuse, improving road safety, enhancing quality of life and developing community resilience.”

The report suggests ASB is a “priority” for the county’s 12 Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs).

People with long-term health problems or mental health issues were more likely to have been victims or witnesses to ASB.

The issue was discussed at Thursday’s (July 19) KCC scrutiny committee meeting at County Hall.


  1. It’s just lies all police forces have been told to talk down the crime figures a general election is on the arisen don’t forget, yesterday it was lies about inflation going down. The only thing I want going down is those wasters calling themselves a “ government”

  2. what a load of nonsense , just open your eyes at the graffiti that smothers thanet, thats without the rest of the vamdalisim and boarded up propertys,

  3. The numbers for ASB reported vs prosecutions needs to be published. If the public are constantly reporting ASB and nothing gets done about it, why would they waste their time reporting it again?

  4. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve called 101 and listened to a recording upto 30mins telling me how important my call is, if people can’t get through or literally just give up reporting ASB, then of course the figures are going to drop!!
    If you do get through you’re told as soon as a patrol is available, they’ll be sent, which is normally after they’ve all dispersed or the police arrive the following day.

  5. What’s most worrying is the authorities are surprised, proof that they havent a clue what’s going on in the real world.

    Tories reduce the police force, closed all the mental hospitals, try to run down the nhs, allow house prices to rent to go through the roof, interest rates going up. Drugs freely available. Ok these shouldn’t be an excuse for anti social behaviour but it helps.

    But MP’s fresh out of their private school that mummy and daddy paid for, havent a clue about the real Britain.

  6. There is a culture of impunity amongst the police, because they can’t be held publicly accountable! If the police were held responsible by the public, then they would not be able to get away with doing nothing about ASB, burglaries, and other sometimes minor crimes! If KCC councillors were able to hold regular meetings with the Kent Chief Constable for instance, so they could hold him/her responsible/accountable, they could make sure the police acted in the public interest, and not their own! Over to you KCC councillors!

    • I do think that link is an excellent idea, Dumpton, altho I thought that was what the PCCs role was (altho I’ve no idea who this is!). I don’t believe there is a ‘culture of impunity amongst the police’ but do believe better lines of communication are needed so that the public knows what happens as a result of info gathered.

      • Ella, I have just spent two and half years of my life trying to make not just Kent police, but the police nationally enforce the law, a law they prefer to pass on to a charity! The charity is NOT publicly accountable, is not a Statutory Agency, and is NOT a branch of the police, and the police have no control over it, and it is woefully not fit for public service! I was once a trustee of the charity, so know what I am talking about!

        I have made numerous complaints, and they all failed to comply with the Independent Office for Police Conduct 12 rules for making a complaint, including the Independent Office for Police Conduct! I have raised this with the Minister for Police Chris Philp MP, who failed to reply, and several other government ministers, and the only one to reply was the Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee who gave me Mr Philp’s email address, duuurh!

        In the meantime thousands of people, many pre-school children are injured every year, and sometimes killed, all because the police fail to enforce the law! Its a national disgrace, and if there is anyone out there who would like to examine the hundreds of e-mails I have printed off, and letters I have written, they are welcome to contact me via Kathy, but not you PC Plod! Finally, I have not long ago received a letter from a senior Police Officer, confirming at least in Kent, they will continue to NOT enforce this law, but pass any reports to the charity!

  7. I think some of us feel that if we were to report anti-social behaviour regularly we’d be a wee bit too busy. The more there is, the more it becomes normalised i.e. just as annoying / risky but people feel they have to try to ignore it.

    • I understand that attitude but then an issue escalates and people ask, “Why wasn’t anything done before it got to this stage?” At least a paper trail helps develop an overview of issues to inform action (or lack of it).

      • Well Ella, in the case I mentioned earlier, some 22,000 people were injured last year requiring NHS treatment it has been reported, and some were killed. I have tried to report such incidents before they become a crime to the police, in one case 4 times by letter, 2 of them by Recorded Delivery, and never received one reply! This is why I would like to see the police held publicly accountable, as I was when I was in practice! In my case weekly “progress” meetings were held, and I would like to see something similar to hold the police publicly responsible/accountable perhaps by elected County Councillors.

  8. Kent police need look no further than their immovable attitude towards crime – I we can’t sólve it from our desktop computer we don’t want to know!

    Soft on drugs
    Soft on shoplifting
    Soft on e scooters
    Soft on graffiti
    Soft on knife carrying

    Could senior officer be soft in the head?

    • Kent Police are soft on Rape too, including many of our Judges. The shocking rape myth culture is RIFE within our system.

  9. Walking around Ramsgate the other day I witnessed two meth addicts purchase a crack pipe in a shop, drug dealing openly on the High Steet, theft of a young girls mobile phone and shop lifting in Wilkos, all in the space of an hour.

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