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Antisocial Behaviour

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 5 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the economic effects of anti-social behaviour in each of the last five years. (253124)

An assessment of the economic effects of antisocial behaviour over the past five years has not been made. However, a one-day count undertaken by the Home Office to understand the effect of antisocial behaviour on key service providers estimated that the cost to government agencies of responding to reports of antisocial behaviour in England and Wales was approximately £3.4 billion per year. The costs related only to the financial costs to agencies of dealing with antisocial behaviour and did not include indirect costs to local communities and businesses, as well as emotional costs to victims and witnesses.

The cost of not taking action against antisocial behaviour is much higher.

The National Audit Office report in 2006 found that nine out of 10 people stop behaving antisocially after three interventions. Many of these were warning letters and antisocial behaviour contracts which are voluntary measures. The success of these interventions would have prevented escalation of behaviour and the possibility of consequential court costs.