Home Office stats name tiny street as crime hot spot

A policeman standing on Surrey Street.
A policeman standing on Surrey Street.
rw images from Simon Hart

From: Simon Hart <southsea2006@yahoo.co.uk>

Even though George V proclaimed all German titles were to be given up by his family a century ago (July 17 1917), there is still physical evidence in our city of the Germanic royal house that once existed. Two commemoration stones relating to members of the royal house previous to the House of Windsor are so readily a part of the fabric of our daily lives but are probably in the most part overlooked.

A walk along Queen Street and on the corner with Aylward Street will present a building with a foundation stone that was laid by HRH Princess Henry of Battenberg in 1912. This was the married title of Queen Victoria's daughter Beatrice which was relinquished on 14 July 1917. From 17 July 1917 she was known as HRH the Princess Beatrice.

A visit to Sainsburys foyer in Commercial Road will provide the opportunity to see a commemoration stone for the opening of the Child's Ward of the Royal Hospital in 1909 by HH Princess Victoria of Schleswig

Four arrested after police crackdown in Commercial Road

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A HOME OFFICE map that suggests a quiet street in Portsmouth is the city’s crime hot spot – and among the country’s worst areas – has been condemned as being a ‘gigantic blunder’.

Cllr Eleanor Scott Portsmouth City Council has launched a furious attack on the new interactive tool the government says will allow people to see ‘what crime and antisocial behaviour has happened in their streets’ after Surrey Street was ranked as one of the 10 worst streets in the country.

Surrey Street, which sits off Commercial Road and is home to a block of flats, a car park, the back of Debenhams and the Surrey Arms Pub, is flagged up as seeing 136 incidents of burglary, violence and anti-social behaviour in December. Among these are 23 anti-social behaviour incidents, 21 violent crimes, six vehicle crimes, one robbery, one burglary, and 84 ‘other crimes’.

Cllr Scott said: ‘This map is utterly absurd – it’s a gigantic blunder. Given the level of technology we have today, there is no excuse for misplacing the location.

‘The Home Office needs to apologise to businesses operating in the very small Surrey Street – it’s damaging.’

The website does say that the figures are ‘on or near’ the street where crimes were committed, but Surrey Street outstrips much bigger roads such as Guildhall Walk (78 offences) and Palmerston Road (five offences).

Home Secretary Theresa May says the information will help people see what crime is happening in their street.

However the owner of the Surrey Arms, Paul Ojla, said he is baffled by the statistics.

He said: ‘I find this situation completely absurd – the noisiest you’ll get in Surrey Street is when the posties come in for a drink after their shifts.

‘I will be writing to the Home Office to ensure they correct the map. While it’s a laughable situation on the face of things, the consequences could be extremely serious.

‘We could end up losing customers who are afraid they will be the victim of a serious crime, and insurance premiums could go up in the area.’

Pub manager Debbie Rose added: ‘In the two years I’ve been here there’s only been one incident I know of, and that was a domestic.

‘It’s a quiet street with regular customers who are older and all well behaved.’

The News has seen emails between high-ranking police officers in Portsmouth expressing their concerns about the misleading map.

The stats can be viewed at police.uk