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Antisocial Behaviour: East of England

Volume 494: debated on Wednesday 17 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will estimate the cost to the (a) economy and (b) public purse of anti-social behaviour in each local authority area in the East of England region in the latest period for which figures are available; (280227)

(2) how much has been spent by each local authority in the East of England region per head of population on tackling anti-social behaviour in each of the last five years.

In 2003, the Home Office undertook a one-day count of antisocial behaviour incidents to quantify their impact on key service providers. This 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. This figure did not include indirect costs to local communities and businesses, nor the emotional costs to victims and witnesses. The cost of not taking action against antisocial behaviour would be much higher.

Information on the amount spent by local authorities, including those in the eastern region, on tackling antisocial behaviour is not collected centrally. Home Office funding for local authorities to tackle antisocial behaviour now forms part of the general Area Based Grant (ABG) paid by the Department of Communities and Local Government. This grant is designed to increase the funding flexibility and allow local areas much greater freedom to spend money in a way they see fit to support the delivery of local, regional and national priorities in their areas.

Other Home Office led activities also act to tackle antisocial behaviour, for example the introduction of community support officers in the eastern region, but a monetary value cannot be assigned to that contribution. Similarly, other programmes and services contribute, sometimes indirectly, to tackling antisocial behaviour, including diversionary activities for young people, neighbourhood wardens, as well as neighbourhood policing and neighbourhood management.