Digital reporting and more local data to tackle anti-social behaviour

Action plan includes digital one-stop shop, expanded crime survey and improved data collection and sharing

The government will introduce a single reporting service and double the sample size of its crime survey as part of its new programme to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Over the next 12 months it will fund a “digital one-stop shop” through which the public can report anti-social behaviour online, by text message, email or phone. The service will provide users with updates on what happens, according to the government’s Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan published today.

The reporting service is also meant to improve information-sharing between local agencies, mentioned by prime minister Rishi Sunak in his foreword to the document. “To restore public trust we will launch a new digital tool for people to report anti-social behaviour and take a tougher approach in holding the police and other agencies to account,” he wrote.

The problem of knowing who to report such incidents to was highlighted through a quotation from a Home Office research participant, saying that the police force refers reports of such behaviour to the council and the council says it is a police matter: “So we’re left in between, thinking, Where do we turn to?… it does leave us with a feeling of being dumped to one side.”

The government will also provide more than £5m to increase the sample size of the Crime Survey for England and Wales from 35,000 people annually to 55,000 in 2023/24 and 70,000 in subsequent years. This will allow data to be published on smaller local areas than is possible at present.

The survey, run by Kantar Public on behalf of the Office for National Statistics, aims to provide a more reliable source of data than police recorded crime, given that many people do not report incidents as well as long-standing concerns over the reliability of police forces in recording data.

The government will also look at using new technology to survey people in local areas on a rolling basis. It will also work with local authorities and police forces to establish mandatory reporting of some measures of anti-social behaviour, with courts and housing providers to improve the quality of local dataand provide new guidance on sharing data between agencies.

PublicTechnology staff

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