Peterborough MP calls for more funding as crime falls
Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite has said residents have confidence in the police force - as the crime rate in Peterborough has fallen by 16 per cent.
The number of crimes recorded by police for the year ending in March 2019 fell to 19,268, compared to 23,015 at the same period last year, according to the figures released by the Office For National Statistics (ONS).
After the figures were published by The Peterborough Telegraph, readers said crime was falling because residents were not reporting offences anymore, because they had no faith the police would act.
Peterborough MP Lisa Forbes called for more funding, but Mr Ablewhite, the commissioner for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, said: “I do wish to assure the public that the feeling of safety remains high in Cambridgeshire. I hope public confidence will further increase through the work being undertaken by the Chief Constable to enhance neighbourhood policing, an initiative that I fully support, and the fact that we will see record numbers of officers in our county by the end of 2020 to respond to calls for service.”
The figures also show a drop of 14 per cent in the number of violent offences in Peterborough, a 14 per cent drop in the number of sexual offences, and a 19 per cent drop in theft.
There was a big drop in the number of burglaries recorded in the city, with a fall of 32 per cent - made up of a 37 per cent fall in residential burglaries and a 17 per cent drop in non-residential burglaries. Shoplifting fell by 18 per cent.
However, there was a four per cent rise in the number of drug offences and a three per cent rise in the number of offences involving the possession of weapons.
Ms Forbes called for more funding for Cambridgeshire police to improve residents’ confidence in the force. She said: “Many have said in comments to these figures that recorded crime has decreased because people aren’t bothering to report anymore due to lack of police resources. If this is the case, the answer is simple – fund our police properly to ensure they are accessible, visible and ready for every resident’s need.”
North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara welcomed the news, and said: “I meet regularly with the local police and know the enormous amount of work they do, often under difficult circumstances, and praise needs to be given to them for these reductions.
“But more work needs to be done, especially in areas where crime has gone up.
“There is some talk in Parliament of increasing police numbers - and I very much welcome a move in this direction.”