Town sees 17% drop in crime

CRIME in Colchester has dropped by nearly a fifth in the past three years, according to new figures.

Roddy Ashworth

CRIME in Colchester has dropped by nearly a fifth in the past three years, according to new figures.

The 17% reduction, measured by the local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) over three years from April 2005 to March 2008, was based on a number of key crimes, including car thefts, burglary, criminal damage, theft and assault.

Police chief superintendent for the area, Dave Hudson, said: “This reduction is excellent.

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“Every effort will be made over the next three years to maintain this reduction in crime and our 35% detection rate is consistently one of the highest in the county.”

One of the key results over the three year period has been a 30% reduction in anti-social behaviour in the St Andrews ward of the town - which covers the Greenstead Estate - following the introduction of measures such as a dispersal order and CCTV.

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Julie Young, a borough councillor for the area, said: “I want to stress that there is a notable reduction in the calls I receive about anti-social behaviour.

“That's not to say we have completely cracked it, but partnership-working between the ward councillors and those agencies involved in the crime reduction partnership is paying dividends.”

At the same time, increased engagement with young people has been achieved by encouraging sport, entertainment and meeting places, including a youth bus which is parked in Hickory Avenue.

Executive director of Colchester Borough Council and chairperson of the Colchester CDRP, Ian Vipond, said: “This was a magnificent effort from all of the partners who work together as part of the CDRP.

“However, evidence continues to suggest that fear of crime remains disproportionately high and people find it hard to believe that crime is actually falling.

“We now have to 'kick-on' and deliver further reductions and, at the same time, tackle the quality of life issues that affect the way local people view their neighbourhood.”

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