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ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR IS PUBLIC’S TOP CONCERN ACCORDING TO POLL MARKING ONE YEAR UNTIL POLICE COMMISSIONER ELECTIONS
 
Tackling anti-social behaviour should be the top priority for new directly elected police commissioners, according to a survey carried out one year ahead of elections being held across England and Wales.

An opinion poll by ComRes for the Local Government Association last weekend found that 71 per cent of respondents thought clamping down on antisocial behaviour should be one of the top three priorities for new police commissioners when they take office in November 2012.

More than one in three people (43 per cent) said that gun and knife crime should be one of the first concerns of new police chiefs while 37 per cent said property crime.

The poll also found that:

•      Only one in four people (27 per cent) were aware that elections were being held for police commissioners.
•      The majority of people (69 per cent) said they would vote.
•      Nearly one in three people (31 per cent) thought tackling gangs should be one of the top priorities for police commissioners.
•     54 per cent of people stated that a candidate’s knowledge of issues within the local community that can affect crime and a willingness to support the community’s fight against crime were likely to influence their voting choice
•      One in three people (38 per cent) said they would be more inclined to vote for a candidate who lived in the local area.
•      41 per cent of respondents said they would be swayed to choose a candidate if they pledged to work alongside other public services.

On November 15 next year elections will be held for the public to vote for police commissioners. Commissioners will set priorities for the local police force, oversee its budget and hire the chief constable.

The elected commissioner will replace police authorities which are currently made up of local councillors and appointees. They will also take over from councils the budgets for Community Safety Partnerships

Cllr Mehboob Khan, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:

“Most councillors up and down the country would not be surprised that anti-social behaviour is uppermost in people’s concerns about their areas.

“Councils have been at the forefront of tackling the sort of nuisance behaviour that can make people’s lives a misery and they are often the first place people turn to if they are having problems.

“Local authorities have come a long way in understanding what works when it comes to dealing with anti-social behaviour. It is vital that, when elected police commissioners arrive in office next November, this expertise is not cast aside.

“This is not an issue that police can tackle alone. As core members of Community Safety Partnerships, councils have worked alongside health agencies, the fire service, schools, probation officers and the police to tackle the root causes of anti-social behaviour

“The results of this survey show that the public will expect new police chiefs to continue to work alongside councils to build on that good work.”

The LGA has been working with groups of councils across force areas to help prepare for the election of police commissioners and to help councils develop effective Police and Crime Panels, which will be tasked with holding the new elected police chiefs to account.

ComRes surveyed 1878 adults from England and Wales online between 4th - 6th November 2011. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.