Drop of antisocial crimes in district

SUSSEX Police says it is “delighted” that the number of recorded antisocial behaviour crimes in Adur and Worthing has dropped in the last year.

Figures released by West Sussex County Council show that county saw a drop by 25.5 per cent from last year, with a total of 27,165 antisocial behaviour crimes being committed.

The trend was echoed in Worthing, where there were 4,362 crimes this year compared to 5,574 last year, and Adur, with 2,183 crimes this year compared to 2,811 in 2011/12.

Inspector Allan Lowe said: “We have been working on tackling antisocial behaviour in the district and are delighted our hard work has paid of and offences are decreasing.

“We hold weekly meeting where incidents of antisocial behaviour are discussed and officers quickly intervene in problem behaviour.

“Our neighbourhood teams work on Operation Respect where they regularly visit places which are reported to us as having problems of antisocial behaviour.”

Alcohol-related crime also dropped in both Adur and Worthing, for the third consecutive year.

There were 544 offences in Worthing, down from 681 in 2011/12 and 881 in 2010/11.

“Adur had 187 alcohol-related crimes this year, down from 263 last year and 380 in 2010/11.

Insp Lowe said: “Our licensing teams have been working hard to reduce alcohol related crime including using the Choose Your Ride car in September to make people think about how they will get home after a night out.

“The ideal option is obviously to get a taxi home but unfortunately some people will get into trouble and end up having a ride in a taxi.”

Another key factor for community safety across the district is substance misuse.

Although Sussex Police recorded 2,273 drug offences in the 2012/3 period, a decrease of 0.8 per cent since last year, Worthing had 357 recorded drug offences, a 31.3 per cent increase from last year. Adur showed a drop of 7.5 per cent, to 123 offences.

Insp Lowe said: “We have been focused on clamping down on drug dealers in the area and the number of arrests we have had in the last year has been included in the number of recorded drug offences this year.

“We have also been effective in arresting these people and therefore stopping them from committing other crimes to fund their drug addiction.”

In the last year there were 34 recorded racist crimes in Worthing, representing 13.9 per cent of the total recorded for West Sussex, and nine homophobic crimes. Eight racist crimes took place in Adur with one homophobic crime.

Residents’ views regarding community safety were also taken into account, which found that 33.8 per cent of Worthing and Adur residents feel unsafe in their area after dark.

Inps Lowe said: “Worthing and Adur district still remains a relatively low crime area but we are never complacent about this.

“We are always looking to improve public confidence in the police and local officers and we do this by constantly engaging with our community through our neighbourhood policing teams including PCSOs and neighbourhood panels.”