POLICE have vowed to stamp out any surge in crime caused by the economic downturn after posting their latest quarterly results.
The number of offences reported in Hartlepool is down 12.1 per cent over the past three months compared to the same time last year.
But the number of thefts has risen by 2.3 per cent in the last quarter and 7.3 per cent annually.
Detective Chief Inspector Jon Green, of Hartlepool Police, said the effect of recessions can often see a jump in crime reports, particularly people stealing as they find it harder to make ends meet.
There have been no significant increases in the town. But Det Chf Insp Green has vowed to stop any theft surge before it can begin to take hold.
He said operations under the Mail-backed Respect Hartlepool campaign are making a real difference in cutting crime, along with the work of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership – a group of organisations and authorities that work together to make the town a better place to live.
Det Chf Insp Green said: “Crime within Hartlepool has continued to fall over the past three months, despite some areas across the country seeing rises in crime.
“It is widely accepted that in times of a recession crime increases. But we are committed to ensure that doesn’t happen in Hartlepool. Rises in acquisitive crime – the crimes in which property is stolen – are often seen and are being seen in other parts of the country.
“The successes we have had in driving crime down in recent years mean that we are prepared and ready for the challenges ahead. It’s a challenge I believe we can meet and one which I know we are prepared for.”
The Respect Hartlepool campaign focuses on three distinct areas of crime: shoplifting, booze-fuelled assaults and domestic violence.
Violence has seen a dramatic drop with the quarterly figure falling from 452 to 350 – a 22.6 per cent fall.
Det Chf Insp Green said: “Violent crime especially has fallen, much of which is due to the work of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership in making the night time economy a much safer, more welcoming place to visit. This work will continue over the coming months.”
He also pointed to the tackling of metal thefts as a priority in Hartlepool as a handful of crooks continue to strip the valuable substances from homes, businesses, streets and rail tracks to weigh in for cash.
Det Chf Insp Green added: “This type of crime can often have wide-reaching consequences and we want to help make Hartlepool as attractive and as viable as possible for manufacturing or service industries in the town.”
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