As we move into a new financial year, for this month’s column, I thought I would provide a brief update on how we have performed over the previous 12 months.
Most performance information is usually provided by numbers or statistics as these can allow a quick and easy comparison to be made. It is also important, however, that where we use numbers we also provide the context, as a headline figure may not always present an accurate reflection.
For example, if I told you that in Fenland, we saw a 100 per cent increase in business robberies in the past year, you would rightly be concerned.
However, this represents only one offence being committed in 2014-15 and two in 2015-16. While this is, of course, impactive to those who are victims, the actual number of offences is low.
So, how have we performed in Fenland? Well, the short answer is that recorded crime has risen in some areas, but reduced in others.
While total overall crime has increased by 5.5 per cent in comparison to last year, some of this increase has been driven not by increasing numbers of offences but by a change in the way police record crimes.
This is particularly the case for violent offences and is explained in more detail by the Office for National Statistics here http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/crime-stats/crime-statistics/crime-in-england-and-wales---year-ending-september-2015/index.html
There are also some areas where an increasing number of crimes indicates an increased confidence in victims to report incidents to police. This is particularly the case in areas such as domestic and sexual abuse.
Within this total crime figure we have seen increases in some crime types, but also decreases in others. Looking at some of the main areas, we have seen an 18 per cent increase in violent offences, a reduction of two per cent in theft offences, an increase of 22 per cent in burglaries, but a decrease of 27 per cent in vehicle offences.
One of our current priorities is burglary and I am pleased that, despite the year-end figures, we have had success in recent months in targeting those offenders responsible and reduced the number of offences to less than three a week in April.
As I am limited for space in this article, I cannot go into detail about specific areas and crime types but if you are interested in finding out more about the crime figures in your local area, full details can be found by entering your postcode at www. police.co.uk