Royal Borough aims to tackle perception of crime levels

Royal Borough aims to tackle perception of crime levels

Katherine Denham

Royal Borough aims to tackle perception of crime levels

Tackling negative perceptions about levels of crime and an invitation for councillors to observe police dealings with victims were the hot topics in a meeting of the crime and disorder scrutiny panel last night.

Despite reductions in crime in Windsor and Maidenhead, councillors were concerned that the perception of crime has not reduced by the same amount, meaning residents believe crime is worse than it is.

Discussions at the meeting held in Maidenhead Town Hall centred on the idea for a survey for Royal Borough residents about levels of crime.

Some councillors questioned whether advertising the low levels of crime in the area could actually risk leading residents into a false sense of security.

The borough’s community safety manager Brian Martin said: “I’m hoping we can find a way of making interactions with residents more positive and getting them to help us to help them.”

Borough councillors also received an open invitation to join officers to visit victims of crime in order to observe how the police handle certain situations.

Councillors hope this will help them establish areas to improve to assist both the police and victims.

Chairman David Hilton (Con, Ascot and Cheapside) said: “Through gaining a deeper knowledge we would be able to come up with good recommendations for the things we need to change.”

Following concerns about the ‘dysfunctional’ way domestic abuse cases are handled in the borough, Mr Martin discussed the establishment of a Domestic Abuse Executive Group which has been set up to coordinate various services and ensure action is taken more quickly.

Also on the agenda was a discussion of crime figures in Windsor and Maidenhead.

Superintendent Kate Ford said burglaries, violence against the person and vehicle crime had seen a reduction in the last year.

However, with more than 68 per cent of offenders who are charged with burglary in the Royal Borough living outside of the Thames Valley area, the superintendent advised that the police are working to improve relations with other forces in order to detect more cross-border criminals.

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