Crime figures drop over summer months

CRIME in North Somerset has gone down over the summer compared to last year.

The Mercury ran a series of features across the summer outlining how police in the town keep residents safe at night and tackle crime.

Now, figures released by police and North Somerset Council show crime across the district has dropped by 16 per cent, including 12 per cent in central ward and 28 per cent in West Ward between April and September 2012 against the same period last year.

It means a drop of more than 1,000 crimes, including a third fewer burglaries and shoplifting cases as well as a 38 per cent reduction in cars being stolen.

But there was a rise in theft from motor vehicles of 14 per cent and an increase in drug supply, up from 13 cases to 22 year-on-year for the period and drug possession was down by six per cent.

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The figures were announced at a meeting of Weston town centre PACT.

PC Marc Flavell stressed the rise in drug offences was down to an increased focus on targeting drug crime.

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He added: “We don’t have drugs crime unless we find it and record it.”

But the number of calls made to police about antisocial behaviour have fallen by 20 per cent across North Somerset including by 10 per cent in the town centre.

Inspector Liz Hughes said: “While it’s encouraging that overall crime is down across North Somerset for this five-month period, with some strong reductions in burglary and violence offences, we are always guarded against drawing too many conclusions from short-term ‘snapshots’.

“For me, the most important statistic to draw from this is that car crime in Weston remains a real problem.

“While we have made some good arrests recently of prolific offenders, we really need the public to stop making life so easy for them by removing all their property when they park their cars.

“Until this happens, thieves will continue to target our town.”

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