The November 2012 issue of Total Politics had an article about the introduction of elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales.
Along with the article was a chart showing what people think should be the top priorities for the new PPCs and it was noticeable that the top priority was anti-social behaviour, which was identified by 70% of respondents. That is certainly the top priority in my own constituency and it seems to be the top priority elsewhere.
The second priority on the chart was gun and knife crime, at just over 40%, with burglary, gangs, young offenders and alcohol-related crime following.
I think the explanation is that for someone who is a victim of anti-social behaviour, it can become a regular occurence. The victim suffers from it day after day, week after week, and gets worn down by it.
Over the past year I have been approached by a number of MLAs, especially from urban areas, about the problem of anti-socal behaviour and they have related how one anti-social individual or family can disrupt an entire street, even driving out settled families. That is why anti-social behaviour is one of the issues addressed in the new Northern Ireland housing strategy.