Crime down 35 per cent in Whaddon, Lynworth and Oakley
A MASSIVE drop in crime in Cheltenham is not down to spin or disguising the statistics but the improving relationship between the community and the police, a senior officer has said.
The amount of reported crime across Whaddon, Lynworth and Oakley has dropped by 35 per cent.
There were 339 reports between April 2012 and March 2013, down from 521 in the same period from 2008 to 2009.
And the trend in falling crime looks set to continue this financial year with 176 incidents reported in the first half of 2013/14.
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The amount of crime has steadily dropped every year since 2008/09.
Whaddon Police Station closed its doors in 2011 and there were fears that removing the physical home of the police would allow criminals to take advantage.
Officers also dismissed the idea the drop in reported crime was due to residents not bothering to report incidents since the station closed.
Sergeant Mark Stephens, the police officer in charge of the area, said: "The community and the police have always had a strong bond in Whaddon, which is why crime is falling.
"Whaddon may once have been thought of as a tough area, but for me, Whaddon is the best-kept secret in Gloucestershire and it certainly does not deserve the reputation it once held. We have achieved this year-on- year reduction as a result of strong partnerships with the social housing providers; the local authority; the faith groups; the youth workers; the volunteers and above all, the residents themselves."
There are plans to set up a police drop-in point in Clyde Crescent soon.
Borough councillor Rowena Hay (LD, Oakley) said: "One of the things that makes a difference is that when young people do things wrong they usually just get told off and that's the end of it.
"But now where their behaviour has improved the officers have made a point of going and saying well done."