Much local crime goes unreported – Cllr. Stone

Local crimes can be hate crimes where people are abused by neighbours or passersby.

It can be theft from a door or porch, a home or vehicle. It can be neighbours being anti-social.

It can be theft from our local shops. On urban estates, drug dealing is often highly visible. Much goes unreported because wait times on the phone are too long. People give up and hang up.

It can be because police do not come out for what they consider low level crime.

Response times, when they happen, are too long.

It can be that the complainant reports, for example, a drug drop, but sees no follow up action.

Local communities report they have lost trust in the police- as a service-not in the individuals.

So, there is a lot of under reporting.

Local crime has a negative impact on community. It undermines the social fabric.

Our sense of community and our sense of safety in community is compromised.

The more local crime there is, the more there is the fear of crime. Fear of crime attracts crime since areas of high crime is where community relationships are weaker. We learn to distrust each other. Distrust spreads and leaves a cultural vacuum that is filled by criminals.

In Northamptonshire, covering 914 square miles and policing a diverse population of over 747,000, Northamptonshire Police employ over 1,501 police officers across the county.

This is one police officer per 498 people.

Nationally, after reaching a high of 172,000 officers in 2010, the number of police officers in the UK fell to just 150,000 officers by 2017.

Although that trend has reversed since this point, there were still approximately 8,000 fewer police officers in 2022 than there were twelve years earlier. And the ratio of police per head of population is still much lower than in 2010.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police suggests 3.4 officers for every 1000 residents.

This would mean 2,615 police for Northamptonshire.

These figures do not take into account the drop in PCSOs and Specials. PCSOs are not warranted. However, they provide a really important service in preventing crime, in tackling low level crime, and making all of us feel safer. A recent local survey suggests PCSOs are popular and valued in our neighbourhoods.

Northamptonshire is among the top 20 most dangerous counties in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The overall crime rate in Northamptonshire in 2022 was 85 crimes per 1,000 people, and the most common crimes were violence and sexual offences, which happened roughly to every 41 out of 1,000 residents.

What do local people say they want.

They want to see more visible policing. More PCSOs, more accessible PCs -on the street, in the shopping areas, and definitely not in vehicles behind glass.

And I agree.