Magazine article Public Finance

Bad Behaviour 'Is Blighting City Centres'

Magazine article Public Finance

Bad Behaviour 'Is Blighting City Centres'

Article excerpt

Tackling antisocial behaviour costs taxpayers £3.4bn a year, but half of all antisocial behaviour orders are breached and some towns are dogged by perceived threats of yobbish acts, a study has warned.

A National Audit Office report this week assessed t he impact of the most appropriate methods to tackle problem behaviour.

It reveals that despite the government's 'Respect' agenda, led by Prime Minister Tony Blair's Anti-Social Behaviour Unit, in some towns half the people questioned think that they will encounter trouble when they leave their homes.

Referring to the findings, Edward Leigh, chair ot the Commons' Public Accounts Committee, said: 'Persistent criminal activity, intimidation and plain disregard for brothers [is] making our city centres a no-go area.'

Nationally, however, the proportion of people who perceive high levels of antisocial behaviour has fallen from 21% in 2003 to a government target of 17% this year.

Auditors studied three behaviour 'interventions' used across 12 towns in England and Wales: warning letters, acceptable behaviour contracts and Asbos.

The majority of people (65%) who received an intervention did not re-engage in antisocial action. …

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