Nottinghamshire’s two busiest late-night drinking spots have seen a dramatic reduction in antisocial behaviour during the Covid pandemic.
With lockdown preventing people from visiting pubs and shops for large parts of the last 12 months, the city centre saw a 39 per cent drop in antisocial behaviour incidents, while it fell by 17 per cent in Mansfield town centre.
Meanwhile, breaches of Covid laws, including holding indoor house parties, have led to an average 50 per cent increase in reports of antisocial behaviour across the force.
Antisocial behaviour is one of the few offences to have risen in the year since 1 April 2020 – with total crime across Nottinghamshire falling by a fifth during that period.
This is because Covid legislation created offences that didn’t exist before the pandemic, which are now recorded as antisocial behaviour.
The rises in neighbourhoods across the county come as people were urged by the government to stay at home for large parts of the last year.
The areas which saw the highest increases in reports of antisocial behaviour were:
* Ashfield Rural – encompassing Hucknall, Jacksdale, Selston and Underwood – with a 134 per cent increase (from 270 to 633 incidents). This equates to about one extra incident a day.
* Ruddington, with a 132 per cent increase (from 83 to 193 incidents).
* Cotgrave and Wiverton, with a 125 per cent increase (from 119 to 268 incidents).
City centre Inspector Arnie Ahmed said: “Clearly with fewer people congregating in the traditional hubs of social activity, due to Covid legislation, it has meant a complete drop off in the types of antisocial behaviour that you would normally associate with the night time economy, such as alcohol-fuelled disorder.
“This has allowed the neighbourhood team to conduct more proactive work including tackling drug dealing, whilst also supporting other local neighbourhood teams.
“With pubs opening their outdoor spaces and shops reopening this week I have been really encouraged by how well the majority of people have been following the Covid legislation and as more people return to the city centre, the public can be reassured that our team is well versed in the demands of city centre policing and keeping people safe.”
Inspector Mark Dickson, area commander for Ashfield, said that while antisocial behaviour had risen in the area over the last year, it had started from relatively low levels.
“The majority of the increase is down to reporting of Covid legislation breaches, such as people gathering indoors,” he said.
“During lockdown people have been staying in their own communities a lot more so that is where more of the incidents have been taking place.
“Whilst people may see an increase of 134 per cent in Ashfield Rural for example as a big rise, it’s important to remember this is actually just an increase of 363 incidents over an entire year – so about one a day – and most of these relate to us recording offences that would not have been illegal in the previous year.”
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