An MP has called for tougher action against yobs after shocking new crime figures revealed the borough is one of the worst places in the country for anti-social behaviour.
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones made the comments after police figures for the last year revealed the borough to be the sixth worst in England and the second worst in Lancashire for anti-social behaviour incidents.
Lancashire Police define anti social behaviour as ‘any behaviour that is intimidating, aggressive, threatening or destructive which scares others and/ or damages property and affects another person’s quality of life’.
Mr Jones said: “We have a fantastic police service and people feel more confident about reporting anti social behaviour. We also have our fair share of yobs and people have little respect for anyone else.
“There’s a constant battle with these people. We have to keep on top of them.
“The government have watered down Labour’s measures to tackle this issue.
“This government has given the green light to yobishness. There are no sanctions any more, the stick has to be bigger than the carrot because some of these people totally lack respect.”
The figures reveal there are eight cases of anti- social behaviour reported per 100 residents in 2013, a worse rate than the likes of Manchester and Liverpool. The only area worse than Hyndburn in the North West was Blackpool, with a rate of nine incidents per 100 residents.
Councillor Paul Thompson, UKIP Hyndburn chairman, agreed that more needed to be done to tackle the problem. He said: “Anti-social behaviour is a big issue.
“I would go further than ASBOs and I would like to see a return of borstal. I am also a big believer in National Service.”
Sharon Burch, who chairs the Accrington based youth scheme YNOT, said that the problem of anti-social behaviour was not restricted to young people.
She said: “A large majority of offenders are over 18, so anti-social behaviour should not be tied to them. But where there is an issue it should be about positive intervention and raising aspirations.”
Conservative Group leader Peter Britcliffe said that he was ‘saddened’ by the figures.
He said: “I am sad to see that we have one of highest instances of anti-social behaviour. It needs to be clamped down upon.”
Hyndburn PCSO Steven Charnley said the police work hard to cut out anti-social behaviour.
He said: “Anti-social behaviour is different things to different people, but of course we work hard to cut it out.