DORSET’S Police and Crime Commissioner has called for everyone to intervene when they see anti-social behaviour taking place.

David Sidwick said he personally would step in and “have a word” if he saw incidents kicking off and has urged others to do the same.

His comments came after he reported a 14 per cent drop in ASB overall in the county this year and a fall of 25per cent in reported incidents since 2019. Although he told the February Police and Crime Panel Meeting: “that’s pretty meaningless if it’s happening outside your front door.”

Mr Sidwick went on to tell the meeting: “Youngsters committing anti-social behaviour should not be allowed to hold communities to ransom through their behaviour.”

He said that there were procedures in place to deal with the problems but said many people felt that there was a need “for the nuts to be tightened” to make the system more efficient.

The Commissioner said that there also needed to be a recognition that in many areas there was not enough for young people to do and his office did not have the budget to replace the youth clubs which local councils had closed, despite a recognition that diversion and early intervention were good ways to stop anti-social  behaviour spreading.

“The question I ask is ‘where is everybody else’? If I see a kid causing trouble then I’ll have a word with him. We all need to do that.

“There is a parental responsibility; there is a school responsibility, a general civilian responsibility when we see something going wrong to say something. We all need to do that.”

Weymouth councillor Pete Barrow told the Commissioner that anti-social behaviour was frequently raised by residents: “It’s a really, really serious problem from their perspective… it’s good to see that it is recognised as a serious issue,” he said.

Alderney and Bourne Valley BCP councillor Tony Trent spoke about children as young as eight involved in anti-social behaviour in his area.

“Residents feel that young people are not dealt with quick enough. I know from my own area that it starts with minor stuff, usually firing catapults or something like that, and it grows from there.. if its not dealt with they feel invincible,” he said, calling for a faster response to what might, at first, appear only minor problems.

Mr Sidwick said that much of the problem in dealing with the wider issue of anti-social behaviour was that elements of it did not come under the police, but local councils – including noise from people’s homes and graffiti.

“If we do not have anti-social behaviour front and centre for all the statutory authorities, who deal with bits of it, we are never going to get on top of it… it needs everyone to be relentless,” he said.