Recession-busting drop in crime

CCTV ... helped with 926 arrests across the borough.
CCTV ... helped with 926 arrests across the borough.

CRIME has been slashed by 15 per cent across South Tyneside in the past year – despite fears the recession would send it soaring.

The new Making Communities Safer report has found offences committed by young people dropped by 28 per cent in the 12 months to December.

And those carried out by prolific and priority offenders fell a whopping 41 per cent.

There was also a 21 per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour reported to the council.

The report was submitted to council chiefs as part of their Community Safety Partnership Plan for 2012-15.

It contains a foreword from South Tyneside’s Chief Superintendent Ian Dawes and Coun Tracey Dixon, the authority’s lead member for leisure and community safety.

She said of the falling crime statistics: “This is fantastic news. We did expect to see a rise in crime due to the economic downturn, but that didn’t happen. Instead, we’ve had a quite dramatic fall.

“That was largely down to the hard work and dedication of all the partners – we hope the drop continues.”

The report also says violent crime has fallen by 14 per cent in the last year, while the Safestop initiative had seen 173 children taken into safety and 342 litres of alcohol confiscated.

CCTV cameras also helped with 926 arrests across the borough, while offenders were made to carry out more than 15,000 hours of work through the Community Payback scheme.

An annual assessment found tackling alcohol-related offences and young offenders are priorities for the next year. The partnership also wants to target domestic violence, re-offending and anti-social behaviour in trouble spots.

It reveals the partner agencies have pledged to provide a single and full response to all complaints of crime.

But they admit they need to strike the right balance between local needs and nationally laid-down priorities.

The report said great strides had been made to tackle crime – but more could be done.

The partnership is made up of the council, Northumbria Police, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, and South Tyneside Primary Care trust.

Also involved are the Northumbria Police Authority, Northumbria Probation Trust, the Youth Offending Service, and South Tyneside Homes.

It will try to incorporate alcohol treatment as a core component of preventing domestic abuse and also bid to protect residents through anti-racism initiatives.

The plan was drawn up after taking offender and victim profiles into account, which considered age, gender, ethnic origin and location.

Resources will be directed towards individuals and locations where there are high levels of crime and disorder.

Twitter: @shieldsgazette