There were 170 fewer anti-social behaviour (ASB) incidents in Larne last year compared the same period in the previous year, according to new PSNI statistics.
Anti-social behaviour is defined as “behaviour that causes or is likely to cause alarm or distress”.
The reduction is being partly attributed to local initiatives involving police, schools, the local community and voluntary and community groups.
Sergeant Colin Skinner said: “The impact of anti-social behaviour on communities is massive and I understand how regular late-night parties or having large numbers of people hanging about on street corners can reduce quality of life.
“ASB can put communities at loggerheads. That’s why I’m pleased to see 170 less people suffer last year compared with the previous year. We have worked hard with our colleagues in Larne Council and the policing and community safety partnership to get ASB down over the past year.
“Schemes like our schools programme really helped to engage people and reduce incidents.”
Sergeant Skinner was keen to point out that ASB is not all about young people. Indeed, his experience is that adults create most of the problems that police deal with.
“Often,” he explained, “the stereotype of the troublesome hoodie does not match the reality. Young people shouldn’t be scapegoated as it’s adults that we focus most of our time on.”
He added: “Despite the down turn in ASB, I would still urge people to keep reporting to us. Police are there for the people of Larne and your local neighbourhood team remains in place and strong.”
Sergeant Skinner concluded: “If it is an emergency, for example if you feel alarm or distress, please continue to dial 999 as usual and police will be respond as quickly as ever.”