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Police statistics show fall in reported crime in Shepway

January 7, 2009 2:00 PM

Kent Police have crime maps on their web site showing crime levels, and how they compare against last year, down to ward level at http://tinyurl.com/8fkz7c

The statistics show that REPORTED crime has dropped an average of 12.1% in Shepway in the year to November 2008. There are a number of significant variations within that figure: for example, whilst anti-social behaviour reported crime is down 40.9% in Cheriton, burglary has risen by 115.3% in Sandgate (to 28 incidents in the year to Nov 2008 - an average of over 2 per month), robbery increased by 71.4% in Folkestone Harbour ward (12 incidents in the year), and robbery 100% up in Folkestone Foord ward (6 incidents in the year).

The statistics only measure reported crime, so incidents not reported are not taken into account. In order that the figures are an accurate reflection of crime activity, incidents need to be reported to the police even if there is little expectation of police action.

Always call 999 if there is a threat to life or a crime is in progress. In Shepway, to report a non-urgent crime or discuss a local police matter call 01303 850 055 (Dover, Folkestone, Hythe & Elham Valley) or 01233 611 055 (Romney Marsh).

Neil Matthews, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesman for Folkestone & Hythe, commented:

"It is obviously good to see reductions in reported crime figures, and having been out on the streets recently with Folkestone Police, I'm impressed with the work that they are doing to make our streets safer.

"Crime figures however only pick up reported crime - there are many incidents every day that are not reported to police as people have little confidence that there will be any action on some issues: in particular vandalism and anti-social behaviour. I urge any resident that suffers or sees a crime to report it: we cannot have an accurate picture without it.

"These figures will also change in the coming months. Many people have commented that shop-lifting seems to be on the rise in the last few months in local stores. In Sandgate in just the last week there was an incident where around 15 cars had wing mirrors damaged or removed from their cars in just one evening: if that is recorded as 15 separate incidents, it will have a dramatic impact on the crime statistics here.

"The figures are a useful guide, but perception of crime is also important, and the confidence that local residents can put into the official numbers. Crucially, these statistics must not be used as a justification for any further in police numbers locally. We need a stable, well resourced, well informed local police force to concentrate not just on cutting crime, but keeping it low and making sure people feel safer."