Manned CCTV hailed after drop in crime

File photo dated 02/11/11 of a generic photo of police officers as the police are poised to bring in private companies to investigate crimes and patrol neighbourhoods, it was reported today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday March 3, 2012. Two forces, West Midlands and Surrey, are asking security firms to bid for contracts, worth �1.5bn over seven years, to run some services that are currently carried out by officers, according to the Guardian. See PA story POLITICS Police. Photo credit should read: David Cheskin/PA Wire
File photo dated 02/11/11 of a generic photo of police officers as the police are poised to bring in private companies to investigate crimes and patrol neighbourhoods, it was reported today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday March 3, 2012. Two forces, West Midlands and Surrey, are asking security firms to bid for contracts, worth �1.5bn over seven years, to run some services that are currently carried out by officers, according to the Guardian. See PA story POLITICS Police. Photo credit should read: David Cheskin/PA Wire
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Crime fell in Wyre last year – bringing to an end a worrying rise in the number of offences being reported to police.

The return of manned CCTV cameras to the borough and the success of local Pubwatch scheme have been hailed as key reasons for the reversal.

Police and town hall chiefs welcomed new figures that show an overall drop in crime of more than five per cent.

It comes as a relief after official Government figures, revealed in The Gazette last month, showed crime in the borough was still increasing last summer.

Coun Roger Berry, Wyre Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhood services, said figures distributed at last month’s Wyre Community Safety Partnership meeting showed theft was down eight per cent and shoplifting had fallen by more than five per cent in 2014.

During that time, total crime dropped 3.4 per cent, although police said the current year-to-date figures since April are showing an even bigger fall of 5.1 per cent.

He added: “While we are not complacent, we are obviously very pleased.

“We have the CCTV, which is manned by volunteers, that is really helping the police.

“We have it in all four shopping centres in Wyre and they are able to assist police.”

Year-on-year figures released last month showed crime in Wyre was up seven per cent in September.

However, figures for the 2014 calendar year show crime is starting to fall again – with criminal damage and anti-social behaviour both down. The latest figures for the 2014/15 financial year show the trend looks set to continue.

Coun Berry added: “We also have Pubwatch, which means licensees can talk to each other. I think that is very important in this day and age that we have an active Pubwatch, working to maintain relationships and improve the situation in Wyre.

“The policing teams in Wyre, through their leadership and effort, have done a grand job and that is reflected in these figures.”

And he called for the public to do more to help police.

He added: “I am hoping, working with police, that we can see if volunteers can be used to assist in other things.

“There are things that volunteers who are properly trained can do to help. I hope we can see further reductions in crime this year – we will strive to achieve this again.”

Insp Jo Jackson, based at Fleetwood police station, said: “This is positive news and 
reflects the good work that 
police and partners have done and continue to do within the past 12 months.

“I want to focus on making people feel safe and confident in the police response to incidents and crime.”