Keeping in Touch Issue 7

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					                                 K eeping in Touch
                         The Quarterly Newsletter of the Harrogate
                           District Safer Communities Partnership

      Issue 7                             Crime Audit - Update
                          In the last issue of this newsletter     is 13 times higher than the sample size for
                          we told you about the forthcoming        the British Crime Survey that the Home
                          crime and disorder audit. The audit      Office use to help formulate government
                          process is now well under way, and       policy on crime and disorder. With this
                          one part of it has been completed.       level of return we can be 95% certain that
                          Public consultation with household-      the responses we received are representa-
                          ers forms a major part of the process.   tive of the residents of Harrogate District.
                          We need to improve our understand-       The findings of the survey are generally in
                          ing of how crime and disorder affects    line with previous years responses and in
                          communities across the District. We      line with what the partnership believes is
                          engaged in public consultation via       the reality of crime and disorder within
                          an anonymous survey. 4640 ques-          the District. The majority of respondents
Inside this issue:        tionnaires were distributed across       were of the opinion that they lived in a low
                          the District, in three design formats,   crime neighbourhood, but that the District
                          together with an electronic edition      as a whole had average crime. Because
                          on the partnerships' web site. Ques-     they reported that they lived in low crime
                          tions were targeted both at adults       areas, when asked about other neighbour-
                          and young people, and at residents       hood concerns or problems, they said that
Seasonal Thoughts. 2      in relatively high and relatively low    driver and vehicle behaviour were a nui-
                          crime areas. The most extensive of       sance, as well as dog fouling, litter and
                          the surveys implemented was the          lack of facilities for young people. We still
Helping the Beggars 2     postal, householder questionnaire        have to gather information from focus
                          with a return sample size of 1133        groups and also from our partner agencies
                          responses. This is an extremely high     and other data sources, but we have made
Crime State          3    return rate for a postal survey, and     a very good start with the audit process.

Burglary             3
                            Partnership Conference
                          On Tuesday the 14th. of September the anti- social behaviour policies.
                          we hosted a conference in the Sun
Car Crime            3    Pavillion. The purpose was to high-
                          light some of the projects that we
                          had been involved during the previ-
Increasing Demand    4    ous year. Over 70 delegates attended
for CCTV Services         with representation from the volun-
                          tary as well as the statutory sector.
Violent Crime - An   4    They heard presentations about
∗                         Community Policing, Feel Safe Be
                          Safe, Ripskys youth café in Ripon,
                          the audit process , and after lunch
Page 2                                                                                                  Keeping in Touch

                      Seasonal Thoughts.
                     Throughout the     Following on from this comes              and guard against making it easy
                     year, different    Christmas.                                for some one to steal their new
                     problems mani-     Again this is another opportunity         goodies. Close curtains early, keep
fest themselves with the changing       for the quick thinking Burglar.           the doors locked even whilst at
seasons. At this time of the year                        Christmas pr e-          home to prevent sneak -ins. Post
there are several different issues to                    sents wrapped up         code mark and record serial num -
consider. Firstly ther e are the                         and left under           bers of all new items.
problems associated with the                             Christmas trees          New bicycles are often given at
clocks changing and the early on-                        often in full view                 this time of the year and
set of darkness. Once it is dark,                        through a window.                  this is another chance
some households have lots of lights                      If they are not                    for the quick thinking
on in and around their dwellings,                        wrapped up then                    thief.
suggesting that someone is home,        they will be stored in a cupboard
whilst other houses are in dark-                                                             They should be properly
                                        waiting to be wrapped, but either                    secured and locked up in
ness, which looks as though they        way there is an increase in the
are unoccupied. Opportunist bur-                                                             either a garage or shed.
                                        amount of desirable items in peo-
glars use these unlit houses as a       ples houses at this time of the year.     Again, either, post code mark, re-
chance to commit a burglary be-         After Christmas then all these            cord any serial numbers and take a
lieving these houses to be unoccu-      goodies will have been given as           photograph of the cycle. This is an
pied. This is a well publicised prob-   gifts, and there will be new com-         often overlooked area and new cy-
lem, however it is something that       puters, play stations and games           cles are frequently stolen from inse-
gets overlooked,                        machines, CD and DVD players              cure garages and sheds. As we
and houses con-                         and lots of similar items in house-       have said before in these pages, re-
tinue to be broken                      holds. All these are tempting tar-        moving or reducing
into in the early                       gets for the opportunist burglar.         the opportunity for a
winter evenings.                        Households need to think about            crime to take place,
                                                                                  reduces crime.

Helping the Beggars.
Our Multi Agency Problem Solving        drug or alcohol misuse problem and        beggars by addressing their needs
group has recently put together a       need extra money to support their         for treatment, housing, employment
number of actions to help reduce        habit. Increased enforcement proce-       and housing.
the offence of begging on our           dures have been agreed, that include      We are developing an alternative
streets. Using good practice from       Police Officers, Police Community         giving scheme for Harrogate. The
the five trail blazer areas set up by   Support Officers, CCTV staff and          idea is that the public can still give
the government the group have           shop staff. Working as a team they        money to help, but not directly to
drawn up procedures which will          can collect details of offenders, iden-   the beggars. There will a system for
lead to, increased enforcement,         tify locations, collect images and        giving the money which will go di-
provide a begging referral scheme       share information. This disrupts the      rectly to local charitable and statu-
and encourage an alternative giv-       illegal activity and reduces tolerance    tory bodies best able to help the
ing scheme. There have been more        levels as we are seen to be doing         beggars with their various problems.
people begging in town recently         something.                                Gifts of food and drink can still be
due to stronger enforcement action      The aim of the Begging Referral           given directly to the beggars, but
being taken in nearby cities such       Scheme is to create an alternative        any gifts of money should be put into
as York and Leeds. This trend is        way of dealing with beggars other         one of a number of collecting points
likely to continue as word spreads      than through the criminal justice         around town, and then shared out
that Harrogate is a 'soft touch '       system. It will reduce begging inci-      between the various local agencies
With all the help and aid available     dents by improving enforcement            that can help and assist the beggars
do people need to beg. Often the        and offer long term solutions for the     to rebuild their life.
answer is yes, because they have a
The Quarterly Newsletter of the Harrogate District Safer Communities Partnership   Page 3

Good News on Crime.
Levels of crime are falling.         Now, to put some figures on this
Yes, it's true.                      news. In all recorded crime there
Figures from the North               is a 5% reduction from 30.1 of-
Yorkshire Police together            fences per 1,000 head of popula-
with figures from the Home           tion of the District to 28.5 offences
Office suggest that overall          per head. There has been a corre-
crime is falling.                    sponding increase in crimes de-
With the exception of                tected from 23% of reported crime
violent crime (see article on        to 32% of reported offences d e-
P4), all categories of crime         tected. This compares very well
are being reduced, and,              with other CDRPs in our family
what's more there's an in-           group. Within the overall picture
crease in detections. So,            Burglary and Car Crime have
good news all round.                 shown dramatic reductions.

Burglary of dwelling houses,          Well, I think that there is no
an offence that causes a lot of       one reason, rather it is a com-
concern, has been reduced.            bination of reasons. More and
It has gone from 5.1 offences         better security on houses.
per 1,000 dwellings down to           Increased Police activity.
3.6 offences per 1,000 houses.        The North Yorkshire Police,
This represents a 29% reduc-          Operation Delivery has se-
tion. The percentage of of-           verely disrupted the activities
fences detected remains               of criminals in the District,
about the same as in previ-           better use of information and
ous years. How has this re-           intelligence by Police. All these
duction been achieved ?               are factors in the equation.

Car Crime
Whilst the reductions in Bur-           Not quite half but a 49% reduc-
glary show a 29% reduction,             tion. Detections of this category
the reductions in reported Car          of crime have improved from 6%
Crime, that is thefts from cars         detected to 10% detected. How
as well as thefts of cars,              has this been achieved ? Mainly
shows an even more dramatic             through Operation Delivery and
reduction. The reports of               other high profile activities of the
offences against motor                  North Yorkshire Police. The
vehicles have gone down from            Council have also helped by im-
4.1 offences per 1,00 head of           proving the safety and security
the District population to 2.1          of its car Parks
offences per 1,000 head.
            Issue 7                                      Increasing demand for CCTV

                                          The Harrogate Borough Counci
                                                                           l CCTV control room has been
                                          particularly busy over the last few
                                                                              months with the training of
                                          new staff and an increase in the
                                                                            general workload.
                                          The surveillance equipment has
                                                                            been crucial in gathering evi-
                                          dence in a number of high profile
                                                                              cases that have been in the
                                          press including a stabbing and
                                                                           rape. With over 460 tapes re-
                                          views and 1131 reported incidents
                                                                              recorded since April of this
                                          year the 24-hour service is kept on its
Community Safety Dept.
Knapping Mount,                          The centre also co-ordinates the
West Grove Road,                                                             radiolink service to shops,
                                         pubs and clubs in the Harrogate
HARROGATE,                                                                town and is exploring ways in
HG1 2AE.                                 which this could be expanded. Tra
                                                                            ining has also been provided
Phone 01423 556503                       to users of the shop radiolink ser
                                                                           vice to build their confidence
        01423 556986                     and increase the use of the sys
Fax     01423 556530
                                         The service currently monitors                                             over 130 cameras across the            Harrogate, Knaresborough, Rip
                                                                        on, Boroughbridge and Skipton
                                         area. More cameras will be install
                                                                           ed by March 2005.
                                         For any further information on
                                                                          the CCTV service please con-
                                         tact: Julia Stack, Community Saf                                                    ety & CCTV Manager, Tel:
                                         01423 556632 or email julia.stack

Violent Crime and Anti Social Behaviour.
If you are up to date with current       number of these fights would have         states that disputes and arguments
affairs you will know that the           gone unreported. Nowadays with            flare up and then more often than
headline categories of crime, Bur -      public CCTV systems, and more and         not, end in violence. Any subse-
glary, Car Crime, Theft and Dis-         better Police action on the streets at    quent Police attendance will lead to
honesty are falling. The Police are      night, these fights are being dealt       arrests and crimes being recorded.
recording less crimes against prop-      with by the Police. The Police are        This goes some way to explaining
erty , but more crime against peo-       obliged to record a crime if there is     the often alarming increases in vio-
ple. The government and the mass         any suggestion or evidence to show        lent crime that are reported in the
media refer to a variety of different    that an assault has taken place. A        news media. So to sum up then.
crimes against people as violent         crime must still be recorded even if      More and better Police action and
crime, which can be an alarming          the victim or any of the participants     new rules on the recording and re-
term. There seems to be two or           do not want to or refuse to make a        porting of crime. Big increases in
three underlying causes for this         complaint. So by the mere act of          the sale and consumption of all
apparent increase in personal vio-       attending at a fight or other alterca-    forms of alcohol, coupled with a
lence. Assaults, fighting and            tion, the crime rate for assaults will    reckless regard for the safe drinking
woundings have always been part          inevitably rise. I have already men-      advice from the medical profession.
of society. For various reasons they     tioned alcohol, but it is a significant   A general willingness to accept and
were not always reported and re-         and major cause of a lot of the prob-     use violence as means of settling
corded. Sometimes they would be          lems. The patterns of, and the con-       disputes for even the most minor of
reported but not recorded. Patterns      sumption of all forms of alcohol, have    disagreements. All of these factors
of social interaction have changed.      changed over the years. So called         contribute to explaining the large
More alcohol is being consumed           'binge drinking' where people con-        increases in violent crime. However
more often and this invariably           sume as much as they can, as              recent Home Office figures show
leads to more disputes which often       quickly as they can, with the sole in-    that about half of the reported and
end in fighting. There is a willing-     tention of being drunk, is a relatively   recorded assaults did not involve any
ness across all levels of society to     new phenomenon. This is not just          injury, to anyone.
resort to violence to settle disputes,   confined to young men, but young          In future issues we will tell you how
whereas previously this was not          women seem to be just as reckless. It     we are tackling this type of problem
always the case. At one time a           is when people are in these drunken       in the District.

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