Official council statistics dispute rise in anti-social behaviour

Originally published in JesmondLocal – January 31, 2017

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Official Newcastle City Council statistics concerning environmental health complaints, obtained by JesmondLocal, point to a decrease in reported anti-social behaviour.

Complaints about loud music have fallen by approximately 80% since 2014, with the number of concerns raised in North Jesmond dropping from 311 in 2014 to 32 in 2016.

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Anti-social behaviour reports dropped from 124 in 2015 to 38 last year. General neighbour noise has also fallen since 2014 – with 210 complaints that year – but has risen since 2015, with a further 62 reports made compared to that year.

Neighbour noise is the most complained about issue, accounting for a fifth of all environmental complaints in Jesmond.

The issues of bin collection and litter in Jesmond are well known – 26 complaints were made about litter, 114 complaints about fly tipping and 40 about domestic refuse.

These statistics come at an important time when student-resident relations are called into question. JesmondLocal hosted ‘Common Ground’, a public forum to debate the issues arising as a perceived result of the student population, at Newcastle Royal Grammar School on January 24th.

JesmondLocal’s findings seem to point to the conflict potentially being overblown as the complaints traditionally held against students have seen a marked decline. However, some attendees at the late-January debate claimed they have stopped reporting issues to the council because of inaction.

One of the points raised at the forum was the role of landlords in taking responsibility for their student tenants. It seems, however, that students may well be complaining themselves with dampness and cold complaints rising slightly in North Jesmond.

The pubs and bars of Jesmond also saw relatively substantial rises in noise complaints with 34 being made in 2016 compared to just three in 2015.

One case of asbestos and one case of lead were reported in South Jesmond along with one complaint about a pavement café.

The total number of complaints fell in Jesmond from 941 in 2015 to 787 in 2016.

Top ten complaints in 2016:

  • Neighbour noise – 161
  • Fly tipping – 114
  • Loud music – 57
  • Dampness/cold – 42
  • Refuse domestic – 40
  • Anti-social behaviour (public health) – 38
  • Licensed premise noise – 34
  • Disrepair – 31
  • Litter – 26
  • Request for information (food safety) – 23

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