More than 600 incidents in one weekend in Mansfield and Ashfield...police release details of five
More than 600 incidents occurred across Mansfield and Ashfield in a single weekend, a Freedom of Information request submitted by the Chad has revealed.
And yet police only released information to the public about six incidents through its weekly Mansfield report - these detailed a spate of thefts, largely from motor vehicles.The 616 incidents occurred between noon on Friday, June 28 and midnight on Sunday, June 30, and includes two rapes, 35 incidents of violence, and 48 road related offences.However, in the weekly crime report for Mansfield, details of just six incidents were released, all minor incidents, from June 25 to July 5 - and only a handful of news items were published on the force's website over the same period, only one of which involved a criminal matter.
This was a press release regarding three drug warrants in Kirkby.Others include urging people to stay safe at the Glastonbury music festival, promoting the force for appearing on Cops UK: Bodycam Squad, a piece warning about people making inappropriate 999 calls, and two appeals for missing youngsters.According to the Freedom of Information request, a total of 327 crimes were committed in Mansfield, with police attending 178, or 54.4 per cent.
Ben Bradley, Mansfield’s conservative MP said: “As the summer has gone on we’ve seen rises in crime locally again, as happened last summer. “I’ve had numerous conversations with the Police and other agencies about this, and it’s one of the most common issues to come across my desk. “I know it’s really important to local people, and particularly the town centre related issues. “Locally I’ve been pleased to see a positive response with Notts Police providing three additional officers and the council another one. “Several of these will be targeting the town centre. “Obviously nationally Boris has committed to a recruitment drive, starting now, that will see a further 7,000 cops a year added to the force. “That’s big news and up to 500 should be coming here to Notts, so Mansfield will benefit. “There’s a lot to do to make sure Mansfield can be a place where people feel positive and safe about the community and about levels of crime and policing. “It’s a big joint effort, but I know all the agencies involved are committed to dealing with it.
Meanwhile in Ashfield, 289 crimes were committed, with police attending 149 of those, or 51.4 per cent.Gloria De Piero, Ashfield’s labour MP said: “Since 2010, there has been a serious decline in the number of police in Nottinghamshire.“We have lost 20 per cent of our police officers – more than 470 - thanks to funding cuts, and it is no surprise that as a result crime is going up.“I know that our local police are doing all they can to keep our communities safe but they are having to do more with less and that is impossible.“People need to know where the blame lies – and that is with the government, not with our hard-working police officers.”
Out of those 616 incidents, only 11 people were charged, and in 63 of those incidents,an investigation was completed with no suspect identified.Two incidents which occured over the period were a man harassing his former partner in Kirkby, and a fight in a Mansfield nightclub.Both only came to light because your Chad reported the subsequent court cases at Mansfield Magistrates' Court.When asked why the public were only informed of a handful of these incidents, and how the police decide what crimes to share with the public, Chief Inspector Kathryn Craner said: “Any decision on whether or not details of a crime are published by Nottinghamshire Police will be based on a number of factors.“These include whether there is a legitimate policing purpose to do so. In some situations there may be legitimate operational reasons why we would not share information about a crime publicly, for example, if this would deter our efforts to apprehend an offender or if it would compromise an investigation or operation.”
Comment from Andy Done-Johnston, Chad's content editor "It's all very well our local MPs bandstanding their own political lines, Mr Bradley trumpeting about extra offices promised by the PM, Ms De Piero blaming Tory austerity for a fall in police numbers and a subsequent spike in crime - although there is certainly something in this."What this is about, at its heart is a lack of transparity, from a public body - Nottinghamshire Police."Yes I get it, there will always be incidents where the media publishing details of an offence may prevent an arrest, or for an offender to escape. Some 'assaults' are domestic matters, couples rowing and going too far. "A private matter, you may argue - although these often come to light when one side or the other end up at Mansfield Magistrates, where, at least, a truer light is shone on the town's criminal behaviour."This is a snapshot, obviously, and I'm not saying that 600-plus crimes are taking place weekend after weekend, but who knows."As a journalist, obviously I think it is a matter of public interest that details of serious crime are released - if there is a robbery, if there is a rape, because people need to be warned. They deserve to know."For years Nottinghamshire Police has been less than candid in its dealings with the media - only coming to us if they need our help, or want us to convey key messages. It's when we go to them, asking about incidents that readers have contacted us about, they tend to become more close-lipped."You may remember this, a few years back there was a really high profile double murder in Mansfield, where two old people were dug up in their own back garden 15 years after neighbours thought they had moved house."I was the first reporter on the scene, and my first dealings with police there was a uniformed officer approaching me and asking me not to bang on the doors of neighbours. That, unfortunately for him, is my job. I ignored him and ultimately discovered a thousand times more than we'd ever have got from the force's public relations team."That is why we need our local press, but it is also why we need our force to be more open, and not try and hide it away from the public vote."But on a grass routes level, our under-staffed and hard-working officers attending more than 300 incidents over a two-day period is to be applauded