Safer Streets

1. PREVENTING & DETECTING HOUSEHOLD BURGLARY

Household burglary is one of the most psychologically impactive crimes a person can be subjected to. People find it hard to recover from the invasion of their home and quite often it can go beyond the loss of personal possessions and affect their livelihood too.

The current burglary detection rate within Wiltshire is unacceptable.

I intend to closely monitor the detection rate and through partner agencies enhance preventative measures to target harden vulnerable properties.

2. TACKLING VIOLENT CRIME AND DISORDER

It is a basic right of the people of Wiltshire to feel safe in their everyday lives whether at home, in their daily working lives or in a social environment.

Violence and disorder in any form is unacceptable. They both cause harm and fear in our communities.

For too long, there seems to have been a tolerance of unacceptable behaviour, whether this be for localised anti-social behaviour or violent behaviour in our pubs and town centres. Similarly, there seems to be a tolerance of Police Officers , Police Staff, Ambulance/NHS Staff, Fire Service Staff and other emergency workers being abused and subject of violence. This too is unacceptable.

I believe in robust policing of such situations, supporting officers in combating anti-social, disorderly and violent behaviour. I want offenders to know that they will be dealt with very firmly, and the public of Wiltshire to feel safe when going about their daily lives.

The recent concerns around the safety of women highlights a major issue within our communities. This risk is very much heightened in areas where alcohol is consumed and I will work with the pub trade to ensure that they receive Police support in whichever form is relevant to the circumstances and to ensure that they also have safety measures in place such as CCTV (with staff trained in its operation), door staff where possible and strict conduct codes within their premises.

The gang and knife culture is growing within the UK and within Wiltshire. I am determined that it will not be allowed to develop within Wiltshire. I will support Officers in their stop and search powers to combat this disturbing culture and ensure that they have the necessary tools and training to enable them to effectively police this epidemic.

Additionally I want to introduce an educational programme in both schools and offender management systems to deter the carrying of weapons thereby reducing such criminal usage and enhancing the safety of our young people and the general public. I also recognise the importance of additional funding for youth services in our communities as a means of reducing knife crime and violence.

3. ROBUSTLY INVESTIGATING CRIME

.The vast majority of criminal offences (in particular theft and burglary) are committed by a small number of repeat offenders. Whilst I am in favour of working with partners in attempts to rehabilitate these offenders, this often doesn’t work. Some of these offenders need to be targeted and managed so that they have a fear of committing crimes as opposed to believing they can act unchecked.

Every crime report should be taken seriously and accurately recorded and where offender identity or forensic or witness evidence exists, every effort should be made to retrieve such material. Prompt scene attendance in serious crimes such as burglary and assault is vital to secure information , evidence and provide reassurance to victims.

Where a serial offender is identified, every effort should be made to pursue that individual’s potential criminal history and bring them to justice. This is even more relevant in the case of the most serious crimes.

Rural areas, small towns and the farming community have been particularly affected by crime. The recent introduction by Wiltshire Police of the rural crime team is a positive step forward, and I will ensure that progress continues in keeping these areas safe 

4. ENHANCING THE REDUCTION AND DETECTION OF SEXUAL OFFENCES

Being the victim of a sexual offence, no matter what age or gender you are, must be one of the most harrowing and traumatic experiences you will endure.

In my view, for a variety of reasons, the Justice system is failing victims of crimes of a sexual nature. The detection rate for rape is the lowest in the country. This must have a significant impact in encouraging victims to come forward.

I will engage with criminal justice partners to improve the current situation and ensure that victims receive the necessary support they require

Only by building trust will we gain the confidence of victims to come forward and report sexual offences.

5. ROAD SAFETY

Road safety is very much a part of “Safer Streets”.

Visible roads policing, and education programmes combined with  enforcement is essential to reducing collisions and fatalities.

I have spoken with several community speed watch (CSW) schemes who have talked about their frustrations with a seeming lack of support from Wiltshire Police.

The CSW is run by volunteers who kindly give up their time to try and keep their neighbourhoods safer for all. If they become disillusioned, you will lose their support.

I am aware that whilst more enforcement assistance has been addressed to some degree by Wiltshire Police in recent months, there is still further support required.

I believe the schemes should have analytical support to highlight prolific and dangerous road users who could be targeted . The CSW should also be regularly supported by trained officers to provide enforcement consistency.

In addition, technical and educational initiatives will be supported

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For policing not politics

mike Rees