Inspector Robert Wilson informed the Committee of the year to date (1 April 2017 to today) crime statistics which were compared to the same period last year.
The following points were highlighted:
(i) there has been an overall increase in reported crime by 23% but this substantial increase is partly due to the changes in crime recording whereby the criteria of anti-social behaviour (ASB) has been broadened and now includes instances such as malicious social media messages. However taking this into account the overall force average has shown an increase in reported crime by 20%;
(ii) where the culprits of home burglaries are caught, they are arrested and usually remanded in custody;
(iii) following a spate of robberies, including one on Radford Road late Sunday evening, 6 people have been arrested. Police are always prompt to respond and social media is proving very helpful where CCTV images can be shared;
Radford and Park Ward
(iv) Police have worked with partners on a range of projects with a variety of messages and actions, including a Fire Service Day of Action, Youth Service work in schools, with local Housing Officers, Universities (on preventing ASB) Priority Families Team, Trading Standards, ASB including noise and street drinking . Partnership working in the community has proved helpful to engage citizens and has recently resulted in the arrest of a gang master following citizen’s suspicions on modern slavery;
(v) burglary and stealing from vehicles has increased by 12% but one person has been arrested and now admits to more than 60 other burglary offences;
(vi) student volunteers from the university have been working with the Police to raise security awareness amongst students;
Dunkirk and Lenton
(vii) the rise in recorded crime by 13% for the year to date is below the force average, but is still not acceptable;
(viii) unlike other areas, there has not been an increase in burglary in the Ward.
The Police are working with partners across the City on a range of issues, including crime prevention and particularly preventing knife crime following recent incidents in the City.
The Committees questions were responded to as follows:
(a) knife-point robberies are considered serious and where such a robber is caught, this usually results in a custodial sentence;
(b) it has been a challenging year regarding crime statistics and whilst there was a notable increase in crime during the summer, numbers have since reduced. Under the new recording criteria, there has been a significant increase in violence without injury but this is where such incidents may not have previously met the criteria to be recorded;
(c) where a criminal leaves fingerprints or DNA, this can be used to trace them and often results in a prosecution;
(d) local and regional crime statistics are freely available in the public domain and show the same historic and national issues. It needs to be recognised that there is a funding crisis which has significantly impacted on Policing and other organisations, which in turn impacts on citizens;
(e) the Police undertake exemplary partnership work with the City Council and other organisations and whilst the change in crime recording has influenced the crime statistics, it is agreed that any rise in crime is not acceptable;
(f) from 2 April 2018, Policing within the county will be divided into a ‘County Area’ and a ‘City Area’ with a single officer taking responsibility for each area. Superintendent Andrea Baxter will have responsibility for the City Area;
(g) Park Security has made the Police aware that there have been thefts of parcels from resident’s doorsteps. In addition to the risk of theft, leaving packages in clear sight also advertises that the occupants are out, which presents a security risk so should be avoided where possible;
(h) the Police do not have any information regarding any drug gangs moving into the area but some drug related arrests have taken place and the issues of drugs and gangs remain a concern;
(i) Police have to concentrate limited resources on serious criminal activity where there is actual or potential harm/ injury/ life changing incidents, including sexual crimes. This means that lower level crime such as shop lifting may not receive as much attention, but where ‘hot-spots’ or patterns are identified, local officers will take appropriate action wherever possible.
Members of the Committee commented:
(j) there needs to be a better explanation of the severity of incidents as the 23% increase may appear alarming but may not include serious high level crime and may be low level, which can include nasty emails;
(k) a 20% or 23% rise in crime statistics is unacceptable and shows that something is going drastically wrong – citizens deserve better. More detailed crime statistics including Ward, City and County, need to be provided to Councillors to enable further scrutiny;
(l) the creation of a City Policing Area is welcomed, and whilst it is recognised that there is a lot of low-level/on the ground partnership working taking place, there is currently a lack of Police strategic partnership working, particularly with Councillors.
RESOLVED to thank Inspector Robert Wilson for his attendance and update.