ON THE BEAT: By Spalding Community Inspector Jim Tyner

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A snapshot of crime in the area during the festive period

I often hear that Spalding isn’t a safe place to go out: that it’s more violent than it used to be.

Actually, overall there have been fewer assaults reported in 2013 compared to 2012. However, despite the reduction, violent crime still takes place and I thought I would provide a snapshot of the festive period.

Between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day there were 18 assaults reported in South Holland. There were 22 assaults reported over the same period the previous year.

Sadly, the festive season is a time when alcohol gets the better of some people, leading them to act in ways that they wouldn’t dream of doing when they are sober.

Eighteen assaults may sound a lot and people could use this figure to reinforce their belief that Spalding has gone to rack and ruin.

However, out of those 18 assaults, nine of them were domestic related, three were assaults involving neighbours or people known to the victim.

Only five of the assaults reported over the Christmas period were linked to night-time drinking. These five assaults were linked to three fights outside pubs or clubs.

In 17 out of the 18 incidents reported to us, the offender has been identified, traced, arrested or interviewed.

In only one case has there been an assault where we haven’t been able to identify the offender. This was during the day on New Year’s Day when a stranger barged in to another man in Winsover Road.

Half of the assaults reported to us were linked to domestic abuse in Spalding, Sutton Bridge, Long Sutton, Whaplode St Catherine and Holbeach.

Domestic abuse is a horrible crime that preys on vulnerable victims. We actively encourage the reporting of domestic abuse and will take all such reports seriously and work with a number of partner agencies to address domestic abuse.

So, in a way, I would welcome an increase in domestic violence reported to us, as this is often a hidden crime that goes unreported for months and years.

My officers will use every police power available to them to protect vulnerable people. In every one of these cases reported to us, the offender was arrested. A simple call to us could be the first step towards a new start.