Much anti-social behavior is not reported and the reason for this is largely to do with the onerous nature of reporting processes. People are unclear about how to report things and who to report them too. When they do report they often find the processes involves long delays either to get through or in preliminary questioning prior to being able to say what they want to report. Often as in the case of aggressive begging reporting is difficult to do while the offender is still in sight.
One of the consequences of low level of reporting is that authorities, who all tend to work from statistics on reported incidents, under-estimate the size of the problem and over-estimate their success in addressing the problem. These estimates then flow through into decisions about levels of resourcing and deployment of resources.
To address this issue British Transport Police have been very successfully trialing texting both as way of reporting incidents and communicating with witnesses and victims.
We have been asking both BANEs and Avon and Somerset Police to look at BTP's system with a view to trialing it in Bath.