WEB POLL : Readers have their say on falling crime

PCSOs on the beat.
PCSOs on the beat.

CHAD readers have joined politicians and community leaders this week to have their say on the latest figures showing crime is falling rapidly in Nottinghamshire.

Home Office-verified statistics reveal that overall crime was reduced by 16 per cent in Mansfield, 18 per cent in Ashfield and 11 per cent in the Newark and Sherwood area between June 2010 and June this year.

As officers celebrated the success and set their targets on becoming the best performing force in the country by 2015, political leaders said it was important to keep maintaining the progress.

Sherwood MP Mark Spencer said: “It is good news but important not to get too excited. It is a step in the right direction but we need to keep going.

“It’s fair to say I have had fewer people approaching me about crime during surgeries and the issue seems to be dropping down the agenda.”

Mansfield MP Sir Alan Meale congratulated Nottinghamshire’s Chief Constable Julia Hodson on the figures.

He said the force had clearly made a great deal of progress since being in special measures just three years ago.

“She was appointed to turn things around and after being given the necessary time she has done this,” he added.

“It is fantastic news that crime is falling faster in Nottinghamshire than anywhere else.

“People have been commenting to me that they are seeing more community officers in Mansfield and this sort of progress makes a real difference to people’s lives.”

On the ground in some communities, crime remains a major concern for residents.

Keith Benison, chairman of Edwinstowe Tenants and Residents’ Association, said crime had increased in the village during the summer.

“The figures are a surprise to us because we were averaging more than 30 crimes a month according to the Police UK website,” he said this week.

“When we see figures showing crime is going down across the county it makes you think there is something going wrong in Edwinstowe.”

Mansfield and District Neighbourhood Watch chairman Paul Bell said yesterday there were definite signs of crime falling but he wanted to see this trend continuing.

“There has been an improvement, there is no doubt about that,” Mr Bell said.

“But there is still a lot of crime which goes unreported, particularly among elderly people who do not report offences.

“One of the biggest worries for our members at the moment is that with the current cutbacks are we in danger of going back to 1980.

“At a time we are doing extremely well, are we going to wind the clock back to a time when crime went through the roof?”