Police deployment is targetted to make better use of resources and to respond to the changing nature of crime. The increasing use of technology allows for agile policing but this is less obvious than traditional methods where police would be seen more frequently on the street. We live in a modern world where communications are far more effective than they used to be. The traditional police on the beat model is easily circumvented simply by ensuring that their positions are known and the perpetrators moving away before they arrive. Deploying police on the street is comforting and re-assuring but is far less effective when incidents need to be dealt with. Imagine the scene where all the police in an area turned up to a violent incident having run across town or pedalled on their biikes or even spent ten minutes running to their car before being able to attend! Looking at the statistics, violent crime is an aspect which is increasing. The police method of operation has had to change accordingly so that more use is made of vehicles for rapid deployment, and more use made of technology to aid communication and more quickly assess, appropriately tackle and record incidents.
There is a balance between the need to be efficient and the need to be visible and approachable. By reporting crime, which is unfortunately undereported, we can help that balance to become better judged.
Is there an increasing problem with crime in Whittlesey as a result of cutbacks? At the moment, from the figures, it does not appear so!
The figures below are taken from official statistics but remember that crimes may consist of a combination of aspects. For instance a burglary may involve a murder. This would be reported once under the most serious heading so the burglary would not appear in the figures. A burglary involving a theft of thousands of pounds of jewelry but where someone received a minor bump would appear on the figures as a burglary not under assault.
In Whittlesey we have an historically low crime rate. The graphs show that there are peaks but these diminish rapidly back to a low level following greater community action and awareness, combined with the successful actions of the local police. The media and social networking would have us believe that crime is constantly rising and that the police are losing control of the streets due largely to cutbacks in their budgets and numbers. The figures shown below do not appear to support this view save for one area, that of violent crime.
Here are some example statistics for Whittlesey.
Anti Social Behaviour - tends to happen more in warmer months but once the matters are reported and the ASB is tackled by the police the levels reduce to their normal low rates. Overall the trend is for a reducing lower rate with increased peaks. However ASB remains our highest level of reported crime and requires the community to report incidents to allow rapid and effective deployment of police resources.
Vehicle Related Crime - peaks when criminals are operating in the area, this returns to a lower level as the perpetrators are either caught or move on.
Burglary - most recent figures indicate that we have had a longer period than usual of low burglary rates. Peaks are followed by a reduction to a low level.
Violent Crime - this is the area in the statistices which have seen a gradual sustained increase. This supports the need for a rapid and often unpredictable deployment of police resource for attending incidents which may become, or are already, violent.