We’ve had a chance to study the “Data Pack” that emerged a few days ago, and I can now give you my digest of the comments and questions for the Borough Commander that have arisen. Of course, questions may still arise from the “floor” of the meeting, and in response to feedback given.
Firstly, it’s very satisfying to see that TNOs are nearly 6% less than the MPS average, with a trend down compared with a trend up for London as a whole. Looking further down the table of Recorded Crime there are 23 categories in which WF beats the Met average, versus 7 in which the performance is worse. Presumably there are Boroughs in which that balance is reversed. We celebrate the civic award recently made by WF Council in recognition of the largest fall in crime across all of London.
Of course, problems remain:
- All forms of violence, including sexual offences, continue to rise across London. WF is not exempt, although the increase has been smaller here.
- On a positive note,
- Knife crime has reduced in WF, against the Met trend (up), and “Serious Youth Violence” is down by over 8%, also against the Met trend (up 7.6%). These are numerically significant differences.
- Theft from the person is substantially down (against a small MPS increase) – should this be expected to deteriorate as “street duties” fall off in the High Street area?
- Vehicle-related offences are substantially down – what went right?
- Domestic abuse is down appreciably (5.6%), against a strong rise (15%)across the Met.
- More disturbingly:
- The 25.5% reduction in residential burglaries is offset by a 14% rise in non-residential ones.
- Gun crime is up by 34% to 71 offences
- Rape shows only a small increase (1.3%) but at 151 offences that is almost three a week – is this not alarming?
- Hate Crime figures are notoriously difficult to interpret. The only category showing a reduction is disability hate crime, but with this and other categories the low numbers make it difficult to have confidence in a “trend”. However, it seems clear that there has been a rise in offences related to race and religion. We’d ask:
- What steps are being taken to address these toxic offences, which can have so heavy an effect on victims?
- Are the low numbers of reports in some categories more to do with a lack of confidence in police response among the targeted communities than evidence of a low prevalence of offending?