VIDEO: North Kesteven is safest area for a fourth year

Crime
Crime

North Kesteven has retained its title as the safest place to live in England and Wales for a fourth year running - but numbers of thefts and assaults have risen.

Figures for the 12 months up to last April show that as a proportion of population size, there were fewer crimes committed locally than anywhere else in the country, and Lincolnshire as a whole moved from the fifth safest county to fourth.

Crimes recorded include thefts, criminal damage, violence and public order offences, but excludes fraud.

Newly released National Crime Statistics show that during 2016/17 there were 26.1 crimes per 1,000 people in North Kesteven, which has a population of approximately 111,000 residents.

Lincolnshire recorded 50.3 crimes per 1,000 people over a population of 737,000. The lowest in England and Wales was Dyfed Powys with 45.1 crimes per 1,000 people over a population of 515,000.

In absolute numbers of crime in North Kesteven, theft offences were the most recorded (813), with violence against the person second (641). Both have risen from 2015-16’s results, and community safety partners will be looking at how best to address these.

The lowest recorded were aggravated vehicle taking (1), robbery of a business property (1) and homicide (0).

Coun Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council, said: “To be the safest place for a fourth year running is testament to the partners working to tackle crime and to the strong sense of community there is throughout the district.

“However, for every crime there is a victim and we cannot and will not rest on our laurels. There are improvements to be made but I am sure that with the continued support and determination, not only from our partners but from our residents as well, this can be achieved.

“Prevention work by the council’s anti-social behaviour team and community safety partners is not only important but needs to be ongoing with groups, schools, older persons’ networks and licensed premises.

“We will remain proactive at early intervention and addressing issues as they arise to ensure our communities remain safe.”

Simon Outen, Chief Inspector for North Kesteven, said: “This is great news for residents and our officers who work tirelessly to ensure North Kesteven remains a safe place to live.

“Even though crime levels are exceptionally low, I would like to reassure people that any that do happen are investigated thoroughly.

“To help with our investigations and preventing police incidents in the first place the public do and can play a massive part in helping us collate intelligence.

“This is at the very heart of our operations so please continue to report information on any crime to my officers by calling 101. Anonymous reporting is also available by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Marc Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, said: “Of course it is pleasing to know that Lincolnshire remains one of the safest counties in England and Wales.

“It’s particularly admirable given the fact that we are one of the lowest funded areas for policing in the UK and that is testament to the dedication and commitment of those people who work to keep our communities safe.

“What has been, and will continue to be, crucial is the support of partners, including North Kesteven Council, as we continue to develop the most effective and efficient services for our residents.”

* Do you agree with these crime figures? Comment via email: andy.hubbert@jpress.co.uk or www.facebook.com/thesleafordstandard