THE multi-agency approach to cracking down on crime in Rushmoor is proving positive but more needs to be done, according to the latest review.
Since the Rushmoor Community Safety Partnership was set up a year ago to reduce crime, the police, the local authority and other organisations have been working together to tackle local problems.
At a Rushmoor Council meeting this week, councillors discussed the work to date but agreed that only when statistics were released would the full extent of the results be known.
The committee was told the results would be compared with surrounding areas when the Home Office released national statistics in July.
“It would be useful to see what the resources are and where the gaps are,” said Cllr Mike Roberts.
Cllr Linda Neal agreed, saying it was difficult to interpret what was happening when there was nothing to measure it against.
“It would be nice to have more statistics to say where we are doing well and where we aren’t doing so well.”
Under the action plan five key areas were identified, including targeting domestic violence, street crime and the fear of crime.
Drug and alcohol related offences and youth crime are also high on the partnership’s list of targets.
Rushmoor’s Andrew Colver assured the council things were moving forward.
“We’ve had funding to finance the appointment of various workers including a neighbourhood warden, park rangers and a domestic violence worker. The CCTV camera system is working very well.”
He summed up the overall position by saying things were going well but more still needed to be done.
Community safety officer Bob Lampard said the new approach was more about finding a solution to the root causes of crime rather than enforcement.
He referred to a recent anti-social behaviour order made in the Mayfield ward.
“We need to deal with the problem rather than just getting the ASBO served. It’s about talking and trying to actively do something. If anything it’s a problem solved if we don’t have to serve the ASBO.”
His colleague Moray Henderson said much was being done to develop the scheme.
“The probation service have put in a bid for £3million to try to fund some antisocial behaviour officers. If the bid is a success somebody would be appointed to monitor them.”
He said the courts were also doing their part by ordering offenders to do community work.
“This is all part of problem-solving. The idea is to get young offenders working to pay back for what they have done to their community.”
He cited the example of the youths who daubed the Hawley Memorial Hall with graffiti last year. The group was made to scrub the walls and clear up the area. He said they were also trying to get social services more involved.
Councillors also agreed that future governments should be pressured to continue funding the scheme. Cllr Keith Dibble said a long-term strategy was needed for its overall success.
“My concern is it’s not seen to be a quick fix. It’s got to be a 20-year project. We are moving forward but we have to put pressure on governments to fund it. In the past we have seen many initiatives come in and then pass their sell-by date.”
He said the appointment of a neighbourhood warden in North Town had made a big difference to the area. The committee agreed to compare the Home Office’s statistics with Rushmoor’s in September.