Crime in Stowmarket is falling, including violent crime and anti-social behaviour, according to police figures presented to the Town Council.
Sergeant Neil Paterson, of the Stowmarket Safer Neighbourhood Team, told the full council yesterday there had been a total of 133 fewer crimes recorded in the town during the past 12 months compared to the average from the last three years, a drop of four per cent.
He said there had been 14 fewer violent crimes, a drop of seven per cent, and 60 fewer acquisitive crimes - which includes burglaries, robberies, theft and vehicle crime - a fall of 12 per cent.
Criminal damage and public order have both fallen by 17 per cent, with 57 and 12 fewer incidents respectively, while incidents of anti-social behaviour have fallen by 200, which is a 15 per cent drop.
Sgt Paterson said the fall in crime was a result of targeted police work and increased contact with the public.
Cllr Duncan MacPherson welcomed the idea that these were responsible for the improvements that had been seen.
Speaking after the meeting, he said: “As a councillor, I have always argued for more visible policing and I think this shows that is the right way to go.”
He added: “I would hope this good news, while we can’t afford to be complacent, might help to reduce the fear of crime, which is often exaggerated.”
“Partnership working is certainly the key,” said Sgt Paterson, citing the introduction of bollards in Market Place as one example of the town council, district council and police working effectively together to improve public safety and reduce anti-social behaviour.
Inspector Tristan Pepper, who is in charge of neighbourhood policing in Mid Suffolk, said: “Total crime in Stowmarket has fallen as a result of proactive and targeted work by police.
“There have been significant reductions in criminal damage (down 17 per cent), public order offences (down 17 per cent) and ASB (down 15 per cent) as officers continue to target potential problem locations and offenders.
“The Safer Neighbourhood Team in Stowmarket is committed to dealing with issues that affect the local community and, by regularly engaging with the public, we are able to identify recurring problems. As a result, tackling anti-social behaviour has been identified as a priority for the team and we will continue to work hard to reduce incidents in the area.
“Engagement with the public has been increased recently with the implementation of a Twitter feed for Mid Suffolk and we would encourage residents to follow @MidSuffPolice.”
New police priorities for Stowmarket include anti-social behaviour in the Fairfield Hill area, racially motivated harassment in Gainsborough Road, criminal damage to Domino’s Pizza and anti-social driving in Morrisons car park, which Sgt Paterson said motorcyclists had been using as ‘a race track’.