PRESS RELEASE: 41,822 anti-social behaviour reports in Surrey go unattended by police

April 1, 2022 5:18 PM

Police ()

41,822 reports of anti-social behaviour in Surrey have gone unattended by police in the past three years, new data has revealed.

Liberal Democrats across Surrey have blasted the Conservatives for being soft on crime and have demanded a return to community policing. The figures were uncovered through a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) tabled by the party to Surrey Police.

They show that just 16,024 incidents of anti-social behaviour of the 57,906 reported have had an officer attend the scene in the past three years. This means that 72.3% went unattended over the same period. The worst year was 2019 with only 24.8% of anti-social behaviour reports being followed up by a police officer in person.

The Liberal Democrats have warned that a fall in community policing has meant "people feel unsafe just walking down their own streets" on the government's watch. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that almost one in two people say they never see police foot patrols, up from 30% in 2014-15.

Guildford Liberal Democrats are proposing a three-point plan to crack down on anti-social behaviour and reverse years of Conservative neglect:

  • Restore proper community policing, where officers are more visible, trusted and known personally to local people.
  • Reverse Conservative cuts to youth services by investing an extra £500 million a year nationally, via a ring-fenced fund to Local Authorities
  • Scrap Police and Crime Commissioners and use the £50 million savings to invest in frontline policing and solving crimes.

Liberal Democrat Zöe Franklin for Guildford, Cranleigh and our villages, said:

"These figures show the Conservatives are soft on crime and are letting our communities down. People across Guildford, Cranleigh and the whole of Surrey deserve better than this.

"Too many people feel unsafe just walking down their own streets because the Conservatives have let anti-social behaviour run rampant. For years this government has failed to give our local police force the officers or resources to tackle this scourge properly.

"The Liberal Democrats are calling for a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and known personally to local people. We will invest in youth services to give our young people opportunities and help make Surrey safer."


Notes to Editors

A breakdown by police force can be found here.

  • Between 2019 and 2021, 1,605,010 incidents of anti-social behaviour of the 3,581,666 reported to 34 police forces were attended by an officer (44.8%). 1,976,656 were unattended.
  • 630,244 incidents of anti-social behaviour of the 1434150 reported to 34 police forces in 2020 were attended by an officer (43.9%). 803,906 were unattended.
  • Across the three-year period, 20/34 forces (59%) failed to have an officer attend at least half of all anti-social behaviour reports.
  • The five police forces with the most reports of anti-social behaviour in the three-year period were the Metropolitan Police (1,006,063), Lancashire (219,087), British Transport Police (157,176), Northumbria (154,443) and West Yorkshire (138,349).

The latest data shows the 2016 Police and Crime Commissioner Elections cost £50m in 2016.

Freedom of Information request is as below:

To: All Police Forces

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, I would be grateful if you could comply with the following request. Could you provide the following information:

How many incidents of anti-social behaviour have been reported to your force in the past three calendar years: 2021, 2020 and 2019.

Please can you provide a breakdown of how many of these reports led to a police officer visiting the scene of the incident.

If it is not possible to provide the information requested due to the information exceeding the cost of compliance limits identified in Section 12, please provide advice and assistance, under the Section 16 obligations of the Act, as to how I can refine my request.

If you can identify any ways that my request could be refined I would be grateful for any further advice and assistance.

Please confirm receipt of this request and if you have any queries please don't hesitate to contact me via email and I will be very happy to clarify what I am asking for and discuss the request.