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Victims of yobs 'slip through net'
Vulnerable victims of repeated anti-social behaviour are "slipping through the net", the Chief Inspector of Constabulary said as it emerged millions of people feel let down by police.
Forces received around 3.2 million reports relating to yobbish behaviour and abuse in the past year but this is estimated to be only a fraction of the true extent of the problem.
Of these, one in three victims feel they are left out in the cold while one in seven called police for help more than ten times, the report found.
Sir Denis O'Connor said improvements have been made but it was impossible to rule out further fatal episodes of anti-social behaviour (ASB) such as the high-profile case of Fiona Pilkington who killed herself and her disabled daughter Francecca Hardwick following 10 years of sustained abuse.
His new report into anti-social behaviour showed an overall improvement in victim satisfaction. But the survey - entitled A Step In The Right Direction - identified a series of problem areas.
Sir Denis said there was still a "long way to go" and accepted cases of extreme anti-social behaviour were impossible to eradicate altogether. "You cannot say it can be absolutely eliminated, that would be false," he said.
The Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) review of 43 forces - the largest ever undertaken of ASB victims - showed 55% of those surveyed were satisfied with the way police in their local area dealt with a report of anti-social behaviour. But some 32% were dissatisfied.
"It cannot be acceptable that one in three victims across England and Wales do not get the service they feel they should: there is still therefore some way to go," the report concluded.
A Home Office spokesman said: "This report highlights that progress is being made in every police force but that there are still areas for improvement. Plans in our anti-social behaviour White Paper will give victims the chance to have their problem dealt with immediately.
"We will slash the confusing legislation that leaves victims without a voice, and police and other agencies without the ability to really tackle the problem. And from November, Police and Crime Commissioners will provide a stronger and more accountable police force and ensure the needs of local people are met."