I have just crunched the numbers from www.police.uk concerning reported crime in the Deepings and Uffington local area and two things are clear. Firstly, the good news, the Deepings is still a lovely area with relatively low crime rates; typically two or three crimes are reported to the police each day. Secondly, the bad news, the crime rate has been rising over the last two years.
You might have thought the crime numbers would have fallen during the pandemic, with fewer opportunities for people to go out shoplifting and committing assaults but sadly the data shows that reported crime in the Deepings has risen from an average of fewer than 70 incidents per month to over 80 where the rate has stabilised. Crime in the villages around the Deepings is steadily low with an average of between 7 and 10 being reported each month for the last two years. Sometimes there is a particular problem e.g. 14 incidents in the Baston area in March last year, but it levels out over time.
The breakdown of crimes being reported shows that the categories of “Violent and Sexual Offences” and “Anti-Social behaviour” compete for first place with dozens of incidents nearly every month. “Criminal Damage and Arson” usually completes the top three although occasional concentrations of “vehicle theft” or “other theft” appear now and again although neither hits double figures in a single month very often.
There may be many factors influencing reported crime. These include potential increases in reporting and also a small number of people committing a large number of crimes in a relatively short space of time.
There are several short-term and longer-term solutions to the problem of crime which include improving security, employing more police and PCSOs, educating young people and punishing and/or rehabilitating offenders. All of these take time and cost money.
I have just attended an online briefing for South Kesteven Councillors with Marc Jones who is the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire. The briefing included a selection from a collection from over 100 powerpoint slides and lasted about 45 minutes followed by another 25 minutes of councillors’ questions about funding, staff numbers and similar sensible questions.
Lincolnshire Police has an aspiration to be more responsive to crime in the county, lots of which is inextricably linked to crime outside the county. They have invested in new vehicles, drones and different ways of working. However, the budget is set by national government who, for obvious reasons, give more to the places with high rates of murder and knife crime than they give to rural Lincolnshire.
Mr Jones was adamant that the briefing was entirely unrelated to the PCC elections scheduled in less than two months time. In fact it was supposed to take place a year ago a few short weeks before the scheduled PCC elections but both the briefing and the election was postponed due to Covid. Mr Jones has given one previous briefing to SK Councillors back in July 2018.
At least one other candidate, Rosie Kirk, is standing for election to the role of PCC. I recommend you find out from all the candidates how they expect to improve policing in our county.