ANTISOCIAL behaviour across County Durham and the Tees Valley spiked in the months after the first national lockdown, data reveals.

Data from January to September reveals that violence and sexual offences and antisocial behaviour were consistently the crimes most reported to Durham Constabulary and Cleveland Police, with both police forces seeing antisocial behaviour spike in the months after the first England-wide lockdown was announced.

Reports of antisocial behaviour in areas covered by Cleveland Police spiked to 5,064 and 4,488 in April and May, up from 1,602 and 1,976 in February and March.

April is its highest number of reports for one type of crime since January.

Excluding these stats, the highest number reports for one type of crime would be in September, with were 2,560 reports of antisocial behaviour.

Durham Constabulary, which polices County Durham and Darlington, also saw a rise in antisocial behaviour despite violence and sexual offences being its most reported crime.

In April and May, it saw 2,376 and 2,248 reports of antisocial behaviour, up from 1,374 and 1,578 in February and March.

However, Cleveland Police said the rise in antisocial behaviour is because of Covid-related activity.

A spokesperson for the force said: “Antisocial behaviour is not classed as a criminal offence, however, if something antisocial becomes criminal it would be recorded as an appropriate crime.

“This year there was a spike in reported antisocial behaviour in April and May, during lockdown. This was due to reports of coronavirus related issues, for example people not abiding by lockdown guidelines, or someone given a warning or fine who was out of their home without a reasonable excuse.”

Violence and sexual offences in neighbourhoods covered by Cleveland Police overtook antisocial behaviour as the most reported crime in January and February, with 2,150 and 2,050 reports.

But in March and April, reports dropped to 1,893 and 1819 respectively.

A Cleveland Police spokesperson added: "The majority of domestic abuse would probably be in those categories, however, domestic abuse is a marker which can be added to any crime. For example, we can record domestic related criminal damage.

"The drop is generally believed to be lockdown related, with pubs and restaurants closed. Domestic incidents are also potentially harder to report if everyone is locked in the house together."

Durham Constabulary was also contacted for comment.