A hectic Halloween for police officers contributed to areas of St Helens having the biggest rise of anti-social behaviour (ASB) incidents in the country.
Government crime figures reveal that postcode area WA9 - which includes Thatto Heath, Sutton and Clock Face – had an increase of 127 ASB reports between September to October.
And the jump, from 160 to 287 – representing a rise of almost 80 per cent – was the most severe of any postcode area.
Chief Insp Martin Woosey, of Merseyside Police, said that St Helens as a whole had seen a decrease in public disorder reports in the past year and that the time of year played its part.
He said: “Traditionally reports of anti-social behaviour increase during the Halloween and Bonfire Night period, when we see a small minority of youngsters go beyond innocent mischief.
“However, across the whole borough of St Helens, we have seen a decrease of 14.5 per cent in ASB for the nine months to September, compared to the same period last year and only a slight increase of 1.9 per cent for the month of October, compared to the previous year.”
The increased number of incidents meant that ASB accounted for almost half of the 607 recorded crimes in WA9 in October, the figures reveal.
Inner city areas L4 in Liverpool, with a rise of 124 incidents, and Nottingham’s NG1, with 87, were the second and third highest increases in the country.
Chief Insp Woosey added: “Tackling anti-social behaviour is a priority for Merseyside Police. In the run up to Christmas, we will be increasing our highly visible police presence right across St Helens and dealing with any ASB offenders robustly.
“We recognise the impact that anti-social behaviour can have on individuals and the community as a whole and work hard with partners to tackle the issue.
“Neighbourhood staff are working closely with local policing partners to identify habitual offenders through the effective use of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs) and other criminal legislation.
“Nobody should have to put up with anti-social behaviour and I don’t want people to suffer in silence. If you are a victim of ASB please come forward and contact police.”
Anyone who is concerned about anti-social behaviour in their area is asked to contact Merseyside Police via the non-emergency 101 number or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.