Revealed: The 10 most crime-ridden streets in Weston-super-Mare
PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 April 2017 | UPDATED: 16:28 24 April 2017
Just 10 of Weston’s streets account for almost a fifth of crime in the town, with new statistics revealing 720 offences were recorded in Weston in the first month of this year.
The latest monthly crime data from police.co.uk shows 133 offences took place in or around the town’s 10 most crime-ridden streets in January.
The worst road has been revealed as Taverna Close on the Bournville estate, where 21 crimes were reported, including 16 instances of antisocial behaviour.
But North Somerset Chief Inspector Tina Robinson told the Mercury the police.co.uk figures normally cover a wider area than just one road, and wanted to reassure residents living in the areas not to be alarmed.
She added: “Some of the other areas outlined are high-density residential areas, such as Selworthy Road, Monkton Road and Brue Close, so we would expect to see levels of calls proportionate to the higher number of residents in the area.”
Despite Taverna Close being listed as a hotspot for antisocial behaviour, South ward councillor Ian Parker told the Mercury he receives more complaints from residents about antisocial behaviour on the Oldmixon estate, than for the Bournville.
He added: “It’s quite a problem – a lot of it is kids causing problems and it’s the same group. They are always doing wheelies on their bikes, sitting on people’s car bonnets, sitting on garage roofs and generally being a nuisance.
“There isn’t an easy solution, that’s the problem. But it’s the same places and if you’re affected by it, it is really not good.”
The centre of Weston also features heavily on the list of crime hotspots, and 212 of the 720 crimes which took place happened in the town centre.
But crime in Weston has fallen overall, with 54 fewer crimes reported in January this year than during the same period in 2016.
Central ward councillor Richard Nightingale said part of the reason for this is a successful police operation to target former crime hotspots.
Last year saw Avon and Somerset Constabulary carry out the biggest-ever drug raid in Weston’s history. Cllr Nightingale said: “Almost 100 officers were involved, making a significant number of arrests.
“This kind of operation is important, but it certainly will not solve all the issues and it does need to be followed up again and again by robust and effective police action.
“When we are receiving repeated calls and complaints about individual premises, action should be taken.”
Throughout 2016, a total of 10,408 crimes took place in and around Weston, with offences spiking during the summer months to make July the most crime-filled month, when 994 crimes were committed.
But CI Tina Robinson said she is pleased crime has fallen, and told the Mercury policing plans are demand-driven and intelligence-led, with police using data to help them understand how to best allocate resources.
She said: “We aren’t complacent. We are listening to local residents and will tackle the issues that our communities are saying are priorities, such as anti-social behaviour and drug crime.
“We won’t tolerate them and have taken, and will continue to take, robust action to deal with these problems.”
CI Robinson also told the Mercury crime categorised as ‘sexual offences and violent crime’ can range from low-level verbal abuse to more serious crimes such as grievous bodily harm.
She said: “It doesn’t necessarily mean any physical violence has occurred, and the majority of incidents will most likely be low-level public order offences.
“The figures also relate not just to the particular streets listed but the surrounding area in the same postcode – it’s a much wider area than just one road normally. Busy shopping areas and other particular locations can also affect crime figures, such as a large supermarket – in this case Morrison’s – which can concentrate some crime types.”
CI Robinson said streets like Meadow Street and Regent Street, which have premises open all day, attract lots of people for long periods of time.
She added: “They are bound to generate more calls.
“The numbers also clearly highlight a well-known correlation between certain crime types and alcohol, which often does sadly play a key role in anti-social behaviour and violence.”
As for the residential streets which appear on the list, CI Robinson said often calls relate to low-level issues, such as ongoing neighbour disputes.
She told the Mercury the force’s One Team is in place to work alongside other agencies to tackle issues on the Bournville and Oldmixon estates.
She added: “There is a lot to be positive about in Weston.
“We remain committed to delivering a service that our communities both expect and deserve and, working with our partners, we aim to further reduce crime across the area.”