TIM DREW: Fall in reported offences may not be a good thing

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

Crime statistics listed on the Sussex Police website show that a total of 1,469 offences were reported in Worthing Central during the first six months of the year.

433 of these involved anti-social behaviour, 307 violence and sexual offences, 195 shoplifting, and 118 public order offences.

In addition, there were 90 cases of criminal damage, 51 of burglary, 40 involving drugs offences, 34 bike thefts, 18 cases of vehicle crime and 13 robberies.

The highest number of offences committed was in May (290) and the lowest in March (198) with the number of anti-social behaviour offences (47) well below the average for the year.

This represents a 17.1 per cent fall compared with the 1,772 offences reported for the six months to June 2015.

The pattern of offences was similar, the commonest again being anti-social behaviour (715), followed by violence and sexual offences (369) and shoplifting (220).

119 cases of criminal damage were recorded and 101 involved public order offences.

57 bike thefts, 56 drugs offences, and 52 burglaries were reported, as were 31 cases involving vehicle crime and 10 robberies.

On the face of it, a fall of this size looks like good news, but it appears likely that many people may have given up on reporting crime as a result of the well-documented problems using the non-emergency 101 number.

Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne discussed this matter with the chief constable of Sussex Police in early July following her attendance on June 30 at the most recent Central Ward Neighbourhood Panel Meeting, when the system was heavily criticised as being unfit for purpose.

But, given the extent of the police budget cuts, it is difficult to see how this problem can be resolved within the foreseeable future.

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