HUCKNALL Police are to break new ground by recruiting a domestic abuse worker, the town’s area committee was told this week.
“We have made a successful bid for funding from the Community Safety Partnership,” said Hucknall police commander Insp Nick Butler.
“The post has not yet been filled but the worker will be employed for a 12-month trial period workking from Monday to Friday and be based at Hucknall Police Station, dealing with people at medium risk.
“The worker will work with victims of domestic abuse and make sure they are safe.”
Insp Butler said there had been a reduction of domestic abuse in Hucknall in terms of incidents reported.
But there had been an increase in the number of young people contacting the police to say their mums and dads had been arguing.
“They sometimes tell us their parents have been drinking and started fighting,” said Insp Butler. “We are hearing of things earlier before a crime takes place.
“We visit couples for a risk assessment process and adopt a scoring system of standard, medium and high risk. Where we think it is necessary, we put alarms in place to protect potential victims.”
Insp Butler told the committee that, generally speaking, crime had reduced ‘very significantly’ in the Ashfield South division, which includes Hucknall, in the last five years.
In the 12 months up to April this year, the area finished with 2,500 reported crimes, which was the lowest level on record.
A number of burglaries in the division were committed by people from other areas - sometimes Nottingham but occasionally Leicestershire and Derbyshire.
Insp Butler said a surprise factor was a rise in shoplifting of food by people who were normally law-abiding, which reflected the hard economic times.
He said: “We don’t criminalise such people unnecessarily. If a 65-year-old lady who has never previously been in trouble steals a leg of lamb, we are likely to impose a fixed penalty and then point her in the direction of debt counselling and advice.”
Ashfield District Council’s deputy leader, Coun John Wilmott (Lab), said a sharp rise in the number of people using food banks showed how much some people were struggling.