Crime drops in town by a quarter

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Buckingham Police inspector Emma Garside reflects on the past year and looks to the future

AS the financial year draws to a close it gives me great pleasure to share with you some of the successes that the local police in Buckingham have achieved and my plans for 2011/2012.

This year crime has dropped by 25 per cent, there have been 188 fewer victims of crime in Buckingham this year than in the same period last year (1/4/10 - 28/2/11). Serious acquisitive crime, including theft of and from motor vehicles, burglary and robbery, has dropped from 132 reports to 93, a 29.5 per cent reduction.

Crime categories which have seen the largest reductions are theft from motor vehicles and criminal damage. The only crime categories where we have seen any increases this period are in the categories of public order (36 reports) and theft from person (nine reports). Our efforts to clamp down on anti-social behaviour have also been rewarded with monthly reports now averaging 19 incidents compared to 35 reports last April.

Our Have your Say meetings are being held every month giving local people the opportunity to meet the police team and share with us the issues that matter most to you. It is from this feedback and other calls to the police that we identify our local neighbourhood concerns.

Preventing and detecting crimes are our obvious main priorities but in addition this year we have undertaken monthly speed enforcement checks and run multi-agency operations to target the HGVs travelling through the restricted areas of town.

Many local schools participated in our Cop Cards scheme and we have set up a football initiative with local youths to assist with better engagement with the younger generation in our area. This initiative has gone from strength to strength with matches planned across agencies and with other youth groups.

Despite the challenges facing the police service, resources in Aylesbury Vale are increasing. Fifteen new police officer posts shall be joining our teams over coming months working across a range of response, neighbourhood and investigative functions. I am working hard to increase the number of special constables working across our rural stations and making sure that the quality of our service is not affected by internal changes occurring as a result of the Force restructure. My main objectives for the next financial year shall be to reduce further the number of crimes that are of most concern to the community, continue to improve our communication with the public in order to build trust and confidence within our communities and ensure my staff are visibly patrolling in the right places at the right times.