ANTI-SOCIAL crimes in East Kilbride have fallen by almost a quarter in the last five years.
According to figures compiled by Strathclyde Police, the number of reported anti-social crimes fell by 24 per cent between 2004 and 2009.
The statistics are featured in South Lanarkshire Council’s latest Anti-social Behaviour Strategy which has been prepared in partnership with Strathclyde Police.
A draft version of the strategy, which was approved by councillors at last week’s executive committee, also reveals that, although East Kilbride has one of the lowest levels of crime in South Lanarkshire, residents’ perception or fear of crime is relatively high.
A residents’ survey carried out in 2007 identified the top five perceived problems as speeding, dog fouling, vandalism, rowdy behaviour and problems with youth disorder.
The strategy document identifies, “a wide variation in perception within individual areas” and notes that although “East Kilbride has the lowest level of crime in absolute terms, residents there identified a higher number of issues as a major problem.”
The number of anti-social crimes reported in East Kilbride during the period 2004/05 was 5661 but that figure fell each year until 2008/09 when the figure stood at 4287.
Over the same period Hamilton saw a reduction of 10 per cent from 9531 to 8655; Clydesdale fell by 21 percent from 4170 to 3293 and reported crimes in the Rutherglen/Cambuslang area increased by 6 per cent, from 4297 to 4564.
There are 15 types of crime in the anti-social category, four of which – vandalism, breach of the peace, public drinking and minor assault – account for 80 per cent of all anti-social crimes reported in the county.
During 2008/09 in the East Kilbride area, vandalism was the highest with 1270 incidents reported followed by breach of the peace (1104), minor assaults (863), and public drinking (320).
The Anti-Social Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004 requires the council and the police to jointly prepare a strategy to tackle anti-social behaviour.
As part of the strategy’s preparation, over 300 residents attended community engagement events held across South Lanarkshire and participated in the consultation process on the draft strategy.
Since the production of the first strategy in 2004, anti-social behaviour crime has decreased annually with an overall reduction of 12 per cent for the whole of South Lanarkshire.
The finalised Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy 2010-14 will be presented to the Scottish Government on March 31.