YOUNG people using social media could be behind the rise in anti social behaviour in the Coleraine area, a police chief has suggested.
The worrying statistic was revealed at last Monday night’s Policing and Community Safety Partnership meeting as Area Commander, Chief Inspector Nicky Thompson, gave those in attendance his six monthly report.
The Area Commander told the meeting that “despite the best efforts of police”, cases of anti-social behaviour was on the rise.
He revealed that in the first six months of the year, from April to September, there were 1824 reports of anti social behaviour in the Coleraine area - an increase of 126 crimes.
Breaking this figure down further, the number of personal anti social behaviour incidents had risen by over 200, and the Chief Inspector said he believed that this could be down to the use of social media and text messaging.
Chief Inspector Thompson said: “Our district analyst have been asked to explore the incidents for the first six months of the year to determine what exactly is the reason for the rise, particularly in relation to the rise of personal anti social behaviour incidents.
“Our suspicions are that unwanted or inappropriate text messages, Facebook and Bebo entries could account for a significant percentage of these reports.”
The six monthly report saw a reduction in the number of domestic burglaries by 51 percent, and a reduction in criminal damage incidents.
Speaking about the criminal damage figures, CI Thompson said: “Reduction tactics have included patrolling hotspot areas and early graffiti removal.”
* COLERAINE Policing and Community Safety Partnership met for the first time last Monday night.
The meeting, held at the Coleraine West Community Centre, was well attended by members of the public.
Chair, Alderman Maura Hickey spoke about the role of the PCSP telling those in attendance that the Partnership would “consult and engage” with the local community on issues of concern in relation to policing and community safety.
Alderman Hickey explained that the role of the Partnership was to “identify and prioritise” issues of concern and address them.
The elected members of the PCSP are: Councillors David Barbour, Sam Cole, George Duddy, Phyliss Fielding, Barney Fitzpatrick, David Harding, William King and Alderman William Creelman and Alderman James McClure.
The independent members are Sharon Burnett, Nigel Macauley, Patrick McGowan, Patricia McQuillan, Rae Morrison, Graham Scobie, Ann McNickle, Roger McCallum and David Gibson.