Work by Gosport groups credited for fall in crime

Crystal Collins, left, and Sharon Newell with some of the children by the pond 

Picture: Malcolm Wells (171116-8678)

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CRIME has dropped by nine per cent in a year according to the latest statistics – partly due to work from Gosport community groups.

In total, there have been 574 fewer reported crimes in the town.

The latest figures show that violent crime has reduced in the town, with more than 300 fewer cases.

The figures compare data from July 2011 to the end of June 2012 with the same 12-month period from 2010 to 2011.

Reports of criminal damage have also dropped, with 140 fewer cases.

This reduction is in line with the drop previously reported in The News, meaning that crime reported this year continues to be nine per cent below last year’s numbers.

Sorrell Wakefield, team leader at the Gosport Community Safety Partnership, said that a number of community schemes have helped reduce crime.

That includes the Summer Passport scheme, which runs for three weeks each summer and is for 11 to 17-year-olds.

She said: ‘There are a whole range of things that come together to support reduction in crime.

‘It’s good, for five years there’s been a year-on-year reduction in Gosport.

‘The Summer Passport scheme has helped reduce crime, it gives young people opportunities to take part in activities they wouldn’t normally.’

‘There’s been a year-on- year reduction in that period, as it’s normally a period where young people have nothing to do.’

But vehicle crime has increased, with an additional 88 cases reported, compared to the numbers last year.

Drug offences have also marginally increased.

Ms Wakefield is confident that looked at over a period of five years, these figures are not a concern.

And she said that the statistics are a sign that local people are involved in changing the perceptions of the town.

She highlighted that with community involvement, including schemes such as the taxi marshals, who help people at taxi rank queues, the perception of Gosport can change.

‘One of our priorities is to increase the feeling of safety in the town,’ she said.

‘Engaging with people and finding out about their priorities and what is important to them is key.

‘People need to feel part of solving the problem.’