ANTI-social behaviour incidents have risen sharply during the summer in the Dungannon District after a steady fall over the past two years.
Between April and August of this year, there were 740 incidents recorded in the local district, up from 695 in the same period last year, a rise of 6.5%.
Across the F policing district, which includes Dungannon, Omagh, Fermanagh and Cookstown, Dungannon had the second highest number of anti-social behaviour incidents, and the second highest percentage increase.
Sinn Fein MLA Bronwyn McGahan said the figures were ‘disappointing’ and that a multi-agency response was needed.
“I believe that there are many reasons for the rise in anti social behaviour including people having more confidence in reporting this type of incident”, she said.
“I would also oppose demonising one section of society for anti social activity as this term covers a multitude of incidents from children playing pranks through to deliberate vandalism.
“Sinn Féin is in favour of a multi-agency response rather than a stand alone policing one, which would involve local communities, housing agencies, schools and projects like Restorative Justice.
“While I am disappointed that the trend of anti social activity has begun to rise again I am confident if we put our heads together we can lessen the impact of it upon local communities.”
According to the latest crime figures from the PSNI the upward trend has been replicated across Northern Ireland.
Anti-social behaviour incidents across Northern Ireland fell between September 2010 and January 2012, ranging from a high of 7,731 incidents in October 2010 to a low of 4,107 in January of this year.
However since the start of 2012 the overall trend has been upwards. The latest figure of 6,892 incidents recorded in August is the highest recorded in the last 12 months. The August figure is 504 higher than the previous month’s figure of 6,388 and 731 higher than the figure of 6,161 recorded in August 2011.
According to the PSNI, anti-social behaviour includes a variety of actions covering a whole complex of selfish and unacceptable activity that can blight the quality of life of a particular individual, group or community.