Crime down by almost a fifthBy Hugh Fort
April 23, 2012
Delighted police chiefs have revealed crime in Bracknell has plunged by 17 per cent – although drug dealing has almost trebled.
After reporting a 10 per cent drop in 2010/11, Chief Inspector Simon Bowden admitted he was “worried” about how officers would keep crime figures low in 2011/12.
However, a series of operations and close work with partner agencies are being credited for the fall in crime.
One of the few areas to see an increase is drug dealing, with the figures rising from 16 in 2010/11 to 45 in 2011/12.
However, Ian Boswell, community safety manager for Bracknell Forest Council, said the rise in figures was due to police making more arrests.
He explained: “We could try to reduce the figures for drugs crime, but that would mean making fewer arrests.
“What that could lead to is an increase in crime in other areas. There is a distinct link between drugs and burglary and theft and it could well be the case that we’d see a rise in those if we weren’t concentrating on drug crime.”
After a rise between 2009/10 and 2010/11, the number of serious violent crimes in 2012 has dropped by 34 per cent, from 50 to 33.
All violent crime has also dropped by 27 per cent.
The numbers of burglaries of homes has dropped by 24 per cent, from 252 in 2010/11 to 191 in 2011/12.
However, police are facing a problem with non-dwelling burglaries, particularly from detached garage blocks.
The figure for those has actually risen by 11 per cent, going up from 457 in 2010/11 to 509 in 2011/12.
Chf Insp Bowden explained: “Bracknell’s garages are ideal targets for thieves as they are out of the way and have numerous access and exit points.
“It is also often the case we find it very difficult to track down the owners of the garages.
“The other problem is that the 1950s’ garage blocks in the estates around Bracknell are too small for a lot of cars.
“Cars act as natural security in garages as they make it difficult to get things out.
“These people are nicking all sorts of things from garages.
“My advice is to make it difficult for them. Get a good lock on the front, then lock everything that’s in there.
“Thieves are thick, they won’t risk spending 45 minutes in a garage smashing a lock.”
Other areas of success are a drop of nearly 20 per cent in serious sexual offences.
Chf Insp Bowden said one of the reasons for this is work by social workers to identify vulnerable young girls who had formed relationships with older boys who were known to the police.
Changes in recorded crime 2010/11 and 2011/12
Violent crime: from 579 offences to 462 Down 20%
Serious sexual offences: from 93 to 76 Down 18.3%
Serious acquisitive crime: (burglary of homes and businesses, car crime) from 932 to 649 Down 30.4%
Burglary non-dwelling: (largely thefts from garage blocks) from 457 to 509 Up 11.4%
Car crime: from 159 to 106 Down 33%
Thefts from vehicles: from 475 to 307 Down 35%
Criminal damage: from 10,82 to 912 Down 15.7%
Total recorded crime: from 6,913 to 5,738 Down 17%