The Panel received an annual operational update from Chief Inspector Mark Thorley.
The level of recorded crime this year compared to the last year to date had increased by 4% for the Moorlands and the figure for the Force had increased by 1%.
Since 2016 there had been consistent reductions in crime. This could not always be the case, as the new model of Policing introduced in the Force in June last year was still settling in and had presented some challenges for the Moorlands which were being addressed.
The Officer updated members on the following:-
· All sexual offences continued to fall currently at -31% for Rape, other serious sexual offences -13% and other sexual offences -20% compared to force reductions of -3%, -5% and -10%.
· Theft from motor vehicles - this showed a further 3% reduction. Force reductions were -10%.
· Burglary residential - a reduction of 15%, 30 less offences. Force reductions were 14%.
· Theft of motor vehicles an increase of 21% (12 more crimes) this year.
· Burglary business and community - 21% increase which was 21 more crimes, against a force increase of 14%. This could be partly attributed to travelling offenders as well as local offenders which included a series of crime in Leek town centre.
· 1% reduction in Anti Social Behaviour.
It was reported that travelling criminals were a problem for the area and crimes were committed in many rural locations across several forces.
Plans remained in place to direct a speedy response to areas with the intention of locating offenders and a zero tolerance approach was taken to any offences committed, along with imminent charges and civil remedies to try and prevent known offenders travelling on to the Moorlands to offend in the future.
Visibility for the Team in the Moorlands was up 1.7% to 75%. Significant reductions to public space violence had been achieved in all three Moorlands towns.
Since June last year Staffordshire Police had moved to a new model of Policing which had previously been explained in detail to all Councillors, Chief Executives and key stake holders.
All response Policing in the North of the County now started and finished at Hanley in the Northern Response Hub. For the Moorlands, this provided response ability in the form of three cars for three deployment locations. Leek Biddulph / Chell and Cheadle 24 hours a day.
The number of Neighbourhood Police Constables had risen from 10 to 22, PCSO’s had reduced from 24 to 22 and there were 4 Sergeants.
Members queried the functions which were carried out from the Police Station in Leek, antisocial behaviour in Biddulph, drug related issues, accessibility of the Police Station in Cheadle and cars parked on pavements.
In response, Chief Inspector Thorley, advised that Neighbourhood Officers and PCSO’s were based at Leek Police Station, along with the archives, Legacy Team and Probation Service. Response Officers also used the Station to carry out administration and for breaks whilst on shift.
Not all of the antisocial behaviour (ASB) in Biddulph could be attributed to one group of young people. The level of ASB had improved recently as a group had been identified and the Police had worked with the Youth Offending Team and issued Dispersal Notices.
The Moorlands was far less affected by new forms of drugs than the impression given by the national press and the Police worked with the Drug and Rehabilitation Services for drug related issues.
There was concern around the wait time for Non Emergency Number to be answered and the Chief Inspector agreed this was a an issue. The Team was working hard to improve this service and looked at alternative methods for members of the public to make contact for non emergency cases.
The Force had seen a 40% reduction in members of the public visiting a Police Station. Alternative ways to contact the Police included, pop-up surgeries, meetings at village halls, on-line communication and email. On a day to day basis PCSO’s would be out and about in the community.
In relation to cars parked on pavements, the Panel was advised that it was a Police matter if a vehicle had caused an obstruction or was a danger and each case would be looked at individually.
Councillors praised the Officers which had attended monthly meetings in their wards and the Chair thanked Chief Inspector Thorley for his attendance at the meeting.
DECIDED: That the update be noted.