Why criminals must fear rock of Spalding

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Eight hundred fewer victims of crime are walking the streets of South Holland.

This encouraging figure was revealed by new Community Policing inspector Jim Tyner (pictured), as he addressed Spalding Town Forum on Thursday.

On day three of officially taking up his new post, Insp Tyner said he welcomed the chance to reflect on issues concerning the public and share his priorities for 2013.

Once likened to a stick of rock with Spalding stamped through it by one of his officers, he said: “I’ve policed the area for 20 years and I am passionate about it.

“So being able to share my priorities with the forum and residents is important to me. After all, we all want the same thing.”

Insp Tyner said statistics for the current financial year showed a 20 per cent reduction in crime across South Holland, compared with the same period last year.

He said: “I like to think of it as 800 fewer victims. Theft of vehicle shows a 27.4 per cent reduction, 31 less crimes; theft from vehicles shows a 31.9 per cent reduction – 107 fewer victims.

“We have had 54 less dwelling burglaries (12.6 per cent reduction) and a 31.5 per cent reduction in criminal damage (223 less victims).

“However, while we have had a great reduction in the number of crimes being committed, my focus will now be on improving our detections.”

Among main concerns highlighted by Insp Tyner was anti-social behaviour. He said: “Street drinking in Spalding town centre remains an area of concern for many people. Operation Trunk is still running and I have an officer committed to town centre street patrols.

“Although calls from the public about street drinking have significantly reduced, we are still targeting this.”

A breakdown was given as follows:

* In September, there were seven calls and 14 people were dealt with by officers on patrol.

* In October there were six calls and 42 people were dealt with by officers.

* In November this dropped to two calls and 17 people dealt with by officers on patrol.

* In December calls remained at two with nine people dealt with by officers.

Explaining a rise of street drinkers in October, Insp Tyner said it was as a result of officers giving up all leave from June to August during the Olympics and holidays being taken at this time.

He said: “There were fewer officers on the streets as a deterrent and the figure reflects response to calls.”

A reduction in violent crime was also encouraging.

Insp Tyner said: “Traditionally, violent crime has been linked to night time.

“Effective licensing checks and working closely with the district council’s licensing team and SIA accredited door-staff means that from December 12 to January 9 there were only nine recorded violent crimes linked to night time.”

Other priorities were visibility, working with volunteers, CCTV and the introduction of street pastors – and there was a firm promise: “My local personal priorities for South Holland are for my officers too.”