Crime halved in seven years

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Green
Detective Chief Inspector Jon Green

CRIME has fallen by nearly 50 per cent over the last seven years.

Police say there are now 6,000 fewer victims in Hartlepool compared to 2003-04.

Official figures show there were 14,012 crimes in the town seven years ago – but only 7,356 in the last financial year.

After figures released across the Cleveland Police force area showed drops across the districts, Detective Chief Inspector Jon Green, of Hartlepool Police, was delighted with his team’s contribution.

He said: “That is nearly a 50 per cent decrease and over six thousand fewer victims than seven years ago, which shows the work that we have done to continually keep the communities of Hartlepool safe.

“In the last financial year we have reduced overall crime by four per cent, which means over 300 fewer victims. Violent crime, robbery, car theft, criminal damage and fraud have all reduced over the last 12 months across the town.

“While we have seen an increase in other burglary and other theft, incidents of this nature have dropped dramatically when compared with seven years ago when there were 1,195 other burglary offences and 395 in the closing year. There were a thousand more incidents of other theft in 2003-04 when compared to 2010-11.

“My message to residents is that they are less likely to become a victim of crime than over previous years, thanks to the work that officers, partners and communities put in to reducing crime.”

The Mail reported yesterday how crime fell by nine per cent across the Cleveland area with Chief Constable Sean Price saying the successes are down to “hard work”.

And police in Hartlepool are already looking at ways to drive down the numbers even further.

The Mail-backed Respect Hartlepool campaign was launched last year to target the most prolific offenders with the focus on alcohol-fuelled violence, shoplifting and domestic abuse with a number of operations such as banning known criminals from retail units and constantly checking on their whereabouts.

The Mail also recently revealed that the biggest task currently facing the force is the rise in metal thefts across the town.

Police chiefs said Hartlepool is being “systematically” pulled apart by thieves who are weighing in the stolen goods at scrap yards for cash.

A series of initiatives have been launched to target those swiping items such as lead from roofs and electric meters, including checking people on their way into scrap yards.

The latest crime figures also show a 33 per cent rise in burglaries and a 77 per cent rise in other types of burglary, such as sheds and allotments, during the last three months compared to the same time last year.

Plain-clothed officers have been taking part in night-time patrols to try and catch crooks red-handed, and are said to be having success in stopping property being targeted.

Det Chf Insp Green added: “The communities of Hartlepool are safe places to live and I want residents to know that we will be working hard alongside them and partners to reduce crime and the fear of crime.”