According to new figures, police sent officers to the scene of fewer than four in ten incidents of antisocial behaviour reported to them in Scotland over the past five years.
This has led to renewed calls for more officers in Scotland’s communities as attendance to reports of disturbances, noise and vandalism dropped.
Police officers in attendance at scenes on average remained consistently below four in ten for the past five years despite the number of reports decreasing by more than 16 per cent.
In 2022, officers were recorded to have been at the scene for 105,000 incidents out of the 282,000 incidents reported, which is a total of 37 per cent, according to data from a Freedom of Information request.
The police claimed that attendance spaces in the incident recording system were sometimes left blank in error, or that one incident could be duplicated if it was subject of several reports.
A spokesman for the police said: “Frontline staff made a risk assessment to determine the appropriate police response, which included giving advice or offering an appointment in non-urgent cases.”
Jamie Greene MSP, the Scottish Conservatives justice spokesman said the statistics were concerning and blamed the overstretched policing budget for officers “tackling crime with one hand tied behind their backs”.
He added: “These figures are very concerning and starkly highlight how SNP budget cuts result in fewer call-outs to antisocial behaviour in our communities.
“With police budgets now stretched to breaking point, the impact of these stringent cuts is sadly all too clear in these low attendance figures.”
Hamilton told the Times of London: “If we don’t go to that call then the danger is that they actually escalate into something else, so often antisocial behaviour is the beginning of more serious behaviours.”
Lorraine Gillies, chief executive of the Scottish Community Safety Network, whose members include delegates from councils, the police and fire service, added to the paper “tightening resources” meant she had sympathy with officers “trying to direct these for best effect”.
She added: “Anti-social behaviour is not and should not be tackled by Police Scotland alone.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “We continue to support the work of local authorities, Police Scotland and others to further reduce the damage caused by antisocial behaviour in our communities, including investing in prevention and early intervention.”
Rioting: Police are geared up but not turning up at too many incidents of anti social behavior.
What a load of tosh. Haven’t seen many or any riots here in WDC.
Not am I aware of our schools and college being full of budding terrorists as an earlier article proclaimed.
This is just spin being published by Police Scotland and being reported as fact.