More than eight out of 10 people say anti-social behaviour has risen in England and Wales over the past 12 months, the Governmentâ€™s main crime survey has revealed.
Common types of anti-social behaviour experienced or witnessed are vandalism, verbal abuse and drug dealing
Nearly a third of people questioned for the report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said they had personally been a victim of yobbish behaviour or had witnessed an incident in the last year.
In all, 81 per cent of people questioned said anti-social behaviour had increased across England and Wales, including 49 per cent who said it had â€œgone up a lotâ€.
Only three per cent said anti-social behaviour had gone down.
It was the first time the annual survey had published figures on how the public perceive overall levels of anti-social behaviour, leading to a significant new insight into how Coalition ministers have performed on the issue.
Data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales found alcohol-related incidents were the most common problem experienced or witnessed by interviewees, reported by one in eight people.
The second most common issue was gangs hanging around in the street, which 11 per cent agreed was a problem.
The new set of figures came from an extensive poll, previously known as the British Crime Survey, which asked 46,000 people aged over 16 about their experience of crime and anti-social behaviour.
Compared with the 81 per cent who said anti-social behaviour had gone up nationally, only 37 per cent said it had increased in their local area and nine per cent reported a fall, with the rest reporting no change.
Across England and Wales, 15 per cent of people said they suffered a high level of anti-social behaviour in 2011/12. It was the highest proportion since 2008/09 when the figure was 17 per cent, but the ONS said the change was not statistically significant.
Max Chambers, of the think-tank Policy Exchange, said: â€œThe fact that such a significant majority of the public think anti-social behaviour is getting worse nationally may be of concern to ministers, especially at a time when overall crime is actually falling at record rates.
â€œIf people donâ€™t believe things are getting better, the Government will struggle to take the credit for successfully cutting crime even while cutting budgets.â€
He added: â€œItâ€™s the job of the new police and crime commissioners to ensure that the police really get to grips with what is clearly still a serious and widespread problem.
â€œWeâ€™ve got to make it easier for the public to report crime and express concerns about teenagers drinking in the street or threatening our neighbours.
â€œThis means protecting the visibility and availability of uniformed police officers which is a major challenge at a time of squeezed budgets.â€
The survey also found 12 per cent of business premises had also been affected by at least one incident of anti-social behaviour in the previous 12 months.
One of the Home Officeâ€™s key projects to combat anti-social behaviour is the â€œcommunity triggerâ€ scheme which will force the police and councils to take action if a number of people complain about a problem.
A Home Office spokesman said: â€œAnti-social behaviour affects thousands of people every day and victims can often feel powerless. That is why we are turning the current system on its head, empowering people to come forward and the police to respond quickly and effectively.
â€œWhere anti-social behaviour is linked to issues such as alcohol or drugs, our reforms will allow professionals to address the root causes, helping prevent recurrent problems.
â€œFor victims who feel reports of persistent anti-social behaviour are not being taken seriously, the new community trigger will allow them to force action.â€
Anti-social behaviour growing, says official survey
Also: Yobbish behaviour is getting worse, say eight in ten Britons: Figures raise concerns over lack of police action to combat problem
‘Police take a risk-based approach to dealing with crimes of this type, prioritising those most at harm’
Chief Constable Simon Cole,
Association of Chief Police Officers