Terrible teens top fear of crime surveyBy Victoria Corbett
February 22, 2011
Dangerous parking and teens hanging around the street are the key crime fears for Wokingham people, according to a community safety survey.
Findings from the Safe Communities Survey also place dangerous driving and littering in the top four concerns.
The survey has replaced the annual fear of crime survey, which is used to gauge public opinion on crime and help Wokingham Borough Council and police target resources at key areas.
Results show 52 per cent of people surveyed had experienced dangerous parking last year, while 49 per cent said they had concerns over teenagers on the streets.
More than 40 per cent of the 565 people surveyed were positive about the police and council’s role in reducing crime and anti-social behaviour and 16 per cent were negative.
The survey results commented residents reported more burglaries and vehicle crime in 2010 than in previous years.
The results seem to clash with figures from Wokingham police, which show crime has hit an all-time low in the borough according to figures for the financial year to date.
This includes a drop in burglary and vehicle crime of 28 per cent.
Councillor Barrie Patman, executive member for community safety at the council, warned residents to look at figures rather than percentages, as these can be deceptive as to the scale of the crime.
He said: “The results are fairly similar to those from last year.
“We have got very low crime levels in Wokingham, there is no doubt about that.
“The chief constable of Thames Valley Police [Sara Thornton] has made a number of changes to the way things are going to be dealt with as far as the sort of crime we have is concerned.
“There has been no reduction in the number of police on the streets, in fact there is still recruitment going on.
“There are plans to increase the number of special constables quite significantly as well, which adds to the numbers. They have full police powers, as opposed to PCSOs who have limited powers.”
Last week, The Wokingham Times reported how the Government is proposing giving police more on-the-spot powers to deal with anti-social behaviour.
These plans could see the removal of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) and give police power to confiscate items from nuisance offenders, such as MP3 players or bikes.
Thames Valley Police is consulting on hundreds of job losses it prepares its plans to save money in the difficult financial climate.
Local people have been assured these cuts will not hit frontline policing.
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