Crime drops in town centre as police get tough on violence

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 September 2012

Archant

OVERALL crime in Weston town centre has fallen, including shoplifting, assault and burglary.

Total crime in North Somerset has dropped by 18 per cent comparing January to July 2012 against last year.

This includes notable success stories include Weston’s central ward, where crime has dropped by 15 per cent, and west ward, where a 27 per cent dip has been recorded.

But there were a couple of spikes in the town centre, with criminal damage up eight per cent in central ward and common assault up 16 per cent and assault up by three per cent in west ward.

All three were down in North Somerset as a whole.

DCI Sue Wilshire said: “Violence is unacceptable in Avon and Somerset. If you do get into a fight you could find that your night is ruined by an arrest, a criminal record and, in some areas, a ban from all of the bars in the vicinity.

“We are very robust when dealing with offenders and those causing problems can expect to be arrested.

“The long-term consequences of violent behaviour can be severe. You could lose your job, be unable to travel to countries you have always wanted to visit - and may have to live with the guilt of seriously injuring or even killing someone. Just that one punch can change your life forever.

“We always increase patrols at key locations during peak times. We are also working closely with pub and door managers to share information and ensure they are taking their responsibilities seriously.”

New figures released by North Somerset Council and Avon and Somerset Constabulary also show that two weekends in August saw 22 violent incidents in the town centre across a six-day window.

During August 17-19 there were eight incidents, while August 24-26 saw 14 incidents.

All of them occurred between 11pm-5am, with several involving groups of more than three people and one involving more than 20.

A police spokesman said: “We were called to Regent Street after receiving reports of an altercation between a group of men at approximately 9.45pm on August 25.

“Officers arrived within two to three minutes. By this time the incident had ended and no formal complaints of assault were made. A few people were moved on at the time although no arrests were made.”

Crime stats in a nutshell:

● Crime is down by 15 per cent in Weston’s central ward and 27 per cent in West ward - 18 per cent across the district as a whole.

● Crime involving property being taken is down: burglary of homes has dropped 21 per cent in the town centre and 30 per cent across North Somerset.

● Shoplifting, theft from a motor vehicle, theft of a motor vehicle, assault, and harassment are all down in both central ward and North Somerset overall.

● Common assault – which is often used to describe less serious assault – such as a push – is up by 16 per cent and criminal damage up eight per cent in the town centre.

● The crimes are down in North Somerset as a whole by 11 and 12 per cent respectively.

● The figures also show that the number of graffiti cases reported to the council in the town centre has doubled, from five to 10.

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