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Alarming level of drug abuse in Rushmoor

LEVELS of crime and disorder in Aldershot and Farnborough have been revealed in a new survey, with drug abuse highlighted as a growing concern.

The findings of the Crime and Disorder Audit, carried out by the Rushmoor Community Safety Partnership, show the borough has an alarming level of drug abuse compared to other districts in Hampshire.

But it also found that Aldershot and Farnborough have the highest proportion of people subject to Drug Treatment Testing Orders in the county.

These were introduced to cut drug-related crime by breaking the link between addiction and offending.

Farnborough Main railway station is the seventh worst for vehicle crime out of 613 in the south-east.

Figures supplied by British Transport Police showed 42 vehicle crimes were committed there between October 2000 and September 2001, compared with nine at North Camp and seven at Aldershot.

Local initiatives have cut street violence in Aldershot town centre but there are still occasional problems.

Overall Aldershot has seen a 30% cut in crime during the last three years.

The importance of a "police presence" was seen as the best way of dealing with fear of crime.

But the survey concluded that Rushmoor is generally a safe area in which to live and work.

The audit is a statutory report and the second to be carried out by the community safety partnership under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

It aims to improve and refine data collection and presentation in the future.

Public consultation was crucial to the process, said community safety strategy adviser Rick Fearn.

"Several of the issues have indicated that there is a clear need for the partnership to work together, both to reduce crime and disorder and to deal with it effectively when it does occur.

"We wanted this audit to be a sound document which would outline a number of issues.

"Once the issues are clear we are able to deal with them and address them.

"For the document to be effective we need the community to pro-actively contribute towards it.

"This is an ongoing project which is continually checked and monitored for its effectiveness and issues can be added to it whenever there is a need to do so.

"Perhaps one of the key issues we are trying to get across here is that it is a two-way communication process — it needs both the contribution of the authorities and the community to work."

Andrew Colver, head of democratic services at Rushmoor Council, said: "The audit does not reveal any major surprises and it is apparent that Rushmoor's crime and disorder problems are, on the whole, a reflection of the wider problems encountered on a national level.

"What this audit does is highlight issues which need to be addressed, and the strategy which will follow will outline what action is to be taken."


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
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