I write to update you on police performance on the North and East Operational Command Unit for the year to date 2007/08.
It has been a challenging year with the development and consolidation of Neighbourhood Policing and our concerted battle against Insurgent Drug Dealers who have tried to gain a foothold in our communities.
I have been pleased with the way that Neighbourhood activity is taking shape. The engagement of partners has played a key part in tackling the concerns of residents and I would like to thank all of you for your help with that. Certainly we are getting positive feedback from residents about the "joined up" work that seems to be occurring. I feel sure that the concept is right and we will continue to reap the rewards from the hard work put in to date.
As regards Drug Dealers from London and elsewhere, we have put in a vast amount of resources into this area as it is without doubt a key driver for crime commission which represents a real and present threat to us. We have seen more Class A drugs policing than any other area in Hampshire and we are regularly taking out drugs dealers and prosecuting them. Unfortunately this is an ongoing battle as more will come in to take over the market but if we do not continue to tackle them "face on" as we have done to date then we will inevitably see an escalation as gangs become settled in our communities. We will continue with this approach going forward.
The result of the team efforts of police and partners has seen us reduce crime by 14% with over 4000 less victims than the same time last year. This is a massive achievement.
House Burglary is down by 28% with several hundred fewer offences. Again we have put a big effort into this and looked to protect our borders from criminal elements from outside the area intent on commiting this type of offence. This will continue and we want to keep bringing this level of crime down.
Violent Crime is also down significantly and I must pay credit to our partners and colleagues who have helped us to police the licensed premises and night time economy. Whilst there is still more work to do, we are impacting on this area of crime and we have seen some really innovative approaches on our streets with initatives such as Pastor Patrols. This is where members of the churches go on to the streets delivering hot drinks and refreshments to people leaving pubs and nightclubs. This has seen some very positive benefits in "managing the temperature and conduct" of those intent on disorder. They appear to have a calming inflence to those around them and end up listening to all sorts of stories and anecdotes from those the worse for wear. A great example of the voluntary sector making a difference.
As a result of the collective efforts from us all, we currently have the lowest rate of crime per 1000 population in the two counties of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, which is a noteworthy achievement that I am particularly pleased with. We will need to work hard to continue to keep this accolade but it is one that has been achieved by hard work from my staff but also from all of you.
I will report back further over the coming months - and have up to now resisted the urge to send out e mails to you on a regular basis but given that we have only 6 weeks left of the crime year, I felt it was time to update you all on what we have collectively achieved together.
I know that District Commanders will continue to provide communication to you on the District perspective but I think it is important for me to give the overview for the whole police area from time to time.
I am content for this message to be circulated to other partners if you wish as I feel it is important to share the reality of crime in the area so as to reduce the fear of crime that is often completely out of kilter with the reality.
With kind regards.