Crime reduction on Wirral

Talking Seacombe down for propaganda – the usual culprits rant again 

Adrian is a Member of the Merseyside Police Authority.  There is also a Conservative and a non-Party Member.  The three work closely together.

Adrian is a Member of the Merseyside Police Authority. There is also a Conservative and a non-Party Member. The three work closely together.

Anti social behaviour, even non-violent, makes life miserable for those affected.  So when we see the growing confidence that local people have to actually phone in and report incidents (including incidents that in the past they would just have put up with) the picture is not all gloom as some seem so keen to portray it.    

Adrian has been criticised (but only by the usual predictable culprits) when he has applauded this increased confidence – unlike those who perhaps see political advantage in talking Seacombe down.   When the increased confidence of our local people, to make a stand against misbehaviour by actually reporting it, is mis-represented in this cheap and vulgar way it speaks volumes about the propagandists who seek advantage in bad news. 

Top performing Wirral police

Crime reduction is spear-headed by our top performing Police Force.  The Force works within an overall crime reduction strategy embracing the Council, Fire Brigade, NHS and a host of other agencies who collaborate to make Wirral a safer place.  The prospect of crime  disappearing is perhaps a dream too far but it is good to see how far the reductions have taken place.

On Merseyside the Police are divided into a number of BCUs –  ‘Basic Command Units’ – each with a Chief Superintendent, known as an Area Commander, in overall control.  To compare their efficiency BCUs are grouped into ‘families’ of similar units from across the country.  Our Wirral BCU is in a family of 15 comparable BCUs.  Its performance remains towards the very top with Wirral coming 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in almost all categories – our lowest being 4th out of 15 in only one case.  A superb position to have achieved.

If we now compare the Wirral Police record over the past year (27th November 2008 to 27th November 2009) these are the results:

  • All crime – down 8% (1032 fewer victims)
  • Violent crime – down 9%    (226 fewer victims) 
  • Assault with less serious injury – down 6%    (63 fewer victims)   
  • Most serious violence – down 15%   (21 fewer victims)
  • Burglaries on dwellings – up 4%    (25 more victims – see note below)
  • Robbery – down  27%  (28 fewer victims)
  • Theft from motor vehicles – down   12%  (87 fewer victims)
  • Serious acquisitive crime – down    9%   (170 fewer victims)
  • Anti social behaviour – down   11%  (1,196 fewer incidents)

In amongst all this good news it is unfortunate to see a small increase in burglaries.  A high proportion of this is attributable to a single ‘prolific’burglar who was lately ‘back in circulation’ after being ‘away’ for some time.  (Fortunately, being highly inept at his chosen crime, he always gets caught).  Thankfully he is for the time being ‘back out of circulation’

Much of this sort of burglary is made easy when doors or windows are accidentally left unlocked – the burglars often being opportunistic and taking their chances when they find them.  (A very high proportion of burglaries occur close to where the burglars actually live!)  But the effect on people who have their homes entered can be traumatic so home security is high on the Police priorities and ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ schemes, together with home security measures, are encouraged.   On the good side this slight increase is based on a year’s comparison.  Taken over a longer period the trend continues to downwards and the installation of so many alleygates has been a significant deterrent.

There’s never room for complacency – but this is a great tribute to our local police and all in the partnership.

Wirral cops shine again – Adrian reports

Earlier this evening I attended the Merseyside Police Awards ceremony in the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool.  Also present for Wirral were Cllr Mrs Kate Wood and Mrs Frances Street.

It was a remarkable ceremony in magnificent surroundings.  The whole of the Merseyside Police Service was represented.  Awards were won across all of Merseyside’s Basic Command Units and from central units that cross all BCU borders. 

The Wirral Basic Command Unit won so many awards that it was difficult not to blush; and that is a great commendation to the senior officers, the operational police, and (let’s not forget them) the non uniformed police support staff.  Well done Wirral cops!  Again!

There was a sad minute’s silence in commemoration of several police who died in service.  Combined with the bravery awards this did bring home just something of the risks taken on our behalf by serving officers. 

The event ended with a telling comment from the Acting Chief Constable who reminded the gathering that the real winners are the people of Merseyside whose lives have been made much safer by the unstinting work of a highly dedicated police service.

Children & Young People – Seacombe

John and Adrian attended a committee meeting in the Town Hall this evening about Children & Young People.

091015 - Brougham Rd

Neither of us is a member and we were both standing in a substitutes for others who could not be there.  In a highly detailed, and altogether excellent, report to the committee it was revealed that a higher proportion of rowdyism and the like had been reported by calls from Seacombe than from any other ward.

Looks bad?  Well, does it?  When you dig a bit deeper?

IMG_1073

The report did not describe increased rowdyism and other sorts of bad behaviour; it reported increased ‘calls’ about such things.  When people fail to call the police, or other services such as the Anti Social Behaviour Team and so on and so forth, thing go unreported.  When they are not reported there are simply no statistics and it looks much better.

Adrian asked the Council’s professional officers whether the reality could be that because of the huge presence in Seacombe of our supportive services the apparent position could well be skewed precisely because we encourage a culture of not just putting up with anti-social behaviour but of calling in to report it.  Surely that is a good sign, not a bad one?IMG_1075

John pointed to the several instances of Section 30 Notices being put in place so that specific areas were given special attention for a period of time.  He also pointed to the frequent appearance of the mobile police station at hot spots and to the frequent visits by the Council’s ‘Respect Bus’ and its fine team of professional youth workers.   In addition we have excellent Residents’ Associations actively promoting youth work; the ever present help of the Area Wardens; the constant vigilance of our Police Community Support Officers and of course the work of the Allandale Youth Club (where Adrian remains a member of the management committee).

Mobile Cop ShopSo can it just be that the high incidence of reporting anti social behaviour should be seen in the context of all of the support given to the community to make sure wayward people who make others’ lives misearble just don’t get away with it?  The view of our Professional Officers was this view is absolutely spot on and thank God Seacombe people increasingly have the confidence to call in to report – and not just put up with it.

So if there should be any headline stories about Seacombe being like Dodge City just smile broadly; we can be proud that our residents no longer hesitate to report wrong-doing.  And if crime is going down isn’t it precisely because more ‘calls’ are taken by people with the confidence to report it, instead of just accepting it?