Nearly four million incidents of ‘yobbish’ behaviour last year

By staff

Almost four million incidents of anti-social behaviour were recorded by police forces in England and Wales last year, figures show.

The information, uncovered by Conservative shadow home secretary Chris Grayling, shows 3,868,000 complaints of aggression, “yobbishness” and intimidation were recorded.

There are warnings, however, that the figure could in fact be much higher as very few people actually tell police when incidents occur.

Commenting on the figures, Mr Grayling claimed anti-social behaviour was “blighting communities up and down the country”, before suggesting home secretary Jacqui Smith had “no idea what to do about it”.

“We’ve seen initiative after initiative, but nothing they try has made any real difference,” he said in a statement.

“People want to see something done to tackle a problem that is disrupting huge numbers of lives but all we’re getting from ministers are warm words with no action.”

In response to the comments and the figures, Ms Smith backed the government’s recent actions in tackling anti-social behaviour and criticised the Tory approach.

“Nine out of ten councils have seen people’s fears about anti-social behaviour fall,” she said.

“Instead of bandying around figures he can’t substantiate, Chris Grayling would do better to stick to the facts on anti-social behaviour – and check his own voting record.

“It wasn’t so long ago that he and his entire front-bench team tried to cut the length of time an Asbo can be in force from two years to three months. People can make up their own minds who’s soft on crime and anti-social behaviour.”