Crime figures fall – but work to do

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OPERATIONS to target specific crimes have been hailed a success as the county’s latest crime figures were revealed.

Although figures specifically for South Hollland are not availble, it is believed police efforts to tackle catalytic converter and diesel thefts, house burglaries and anti-social behaviour have paid off.

That mirrors the situation in Lincolnshire, where crime has fallen 1.8 per cent – equalling 797 fewer crimes – than in the previous year.

Crimes that cause fear and concern were down 12.1 per cent (1,326 fewer incidents), other anti-social behaviour dropped by 18.1 per cent (4,818 fewer incidents), house burglaries were down by 10.6 per cent (257 crimes) and serious acquisitive crime (theft) was down 6.1 per cent (385 crimes).

Lincolnshire Police Authority welcomed the figures but said there were a couple of areas of concern, including a rise in the number of cases of serious violence (up from 238 to 255) and in the number of people killed on the county’s roads (4.9 per cent increase to 485).

Sgt Stuart Brotherton, of Spalding Police, said: “The current situation is that things are looking fairly favourable.

“We are not getting the hotspots, such as house burglaries and diesel thefts we have seen recently – those things seem to have levelled off.

“Hopefully our targeted operations have counted for something in that sense as having a high visibility does have have a significant effect on crime.”

South Holland district councillor Gary Taylor said he believed the county crime figures gave a fair picture of what is happening here, but said there was still a problem with the public’s perception of crime.

He said: “The police can’t be complacent and they need to do what they can with the available resources, particular when they are stretched, to tackle public perception.

And Coun Taylor welcomed a report by national think-tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, which says more real-time information about reported crimes and court cases should be available online to give people more confidence in the criminal justice system.

Coun Taylor said: “People want to see that the punishment meted out fits the crime.

“They want to see justice done and one success story locally is the use of the community payback team – people who have committed crimes being seen to do something for the benefit of the community.”