Town one of country’s worst crime hotspots

CRIME CENTRAL -- Northcote Way in Bulwell
CRIME CENTRAL -- Northcote Way in Bulwell
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ALARMING new figures suggest that crime is still the scourge of Bulwell, exposing the town as one of the worst hotspots in the country.

A nationwide website, launched by the police, offers a no-holds-barred insight into crime statistics, which can be boiled down to an individual town or street.

The mapping site reveals that Bulwell sits within the top two per cent in the country when it comes to crime rates.

However the statistics for Hucknall show the town falls within the ‘average’ bracket.

The revelations are based on figures from December, which show that 49 of every 1,000 residents in Bulwell became victims of a criminal offence. That’s one person from every 20 in the town.

In total, Bulwell was hit by 394 crimes during the month, including 198 offences involving anti-social behaviour (ASB).

The most crime-plagued spot was Northcote Way, off Highbury Road, where 13 offences were committed.

On the face of it, the figures make grim reading. But Bulwell’s police chief, Insp Jim West, insists crime is, in fact, declining spectacularly in the town and the statistics should be put into context.

He said: “Firstly, Bulwell town centre is not a heavily populated residential area, so the rate of crimes per 1,000 people is perhaps not the best measure for this particular beat.

“Secondly, the figures for December do not reflect what has, in fact, been a substantial reduction in crime over the past year.

“In the 12 months to February 2011, there were 113 fewer crimes in Bulwell town centre, compared with the previous 12-month period.

“House burglary has reduced by 83%, commercial burglary has fallen by 60%, criminal damage is down by 36% and there has been a 73% reduction in robbery.”

The website, www.police.uk, gives information about officers working in specific areas and presents statistics on maps to highlight hotspots.

Each street has its crime broken down into categories — burglary, anti-social behaviour, robbery, vehicle crime, violent crime and other crimes, which include drug offences).

Areas in Bulwell that suffered crimes in three or more categories are: Ashbourne Court, Barry Street, Caporn Close, Carey Road, Dursley Close, Langdown Close, Latimer Close, Main Street, Montague Street, Northcote Way, Rowans Crescent, South Snape Close, Stoneycroft Road and Stafford Avenue.

Insp West explained that there had been problems with anti-social behaviour near the new Tesco superstore, off Main Street. A partnership entitled Operation Citizenship had now been launched with Nottingham City Council youth workers to tackle this.

In Hucknall, the website made much better reading with crime rates regarded as ‘average’ in comparison with the rest of the country. The town falls in the middle 68% of areas in the UK.

In total, 219 offences were reported in December, including 103 of anti-social behaviour. The rate was 38 crimes per 1,000 residents.

The prime hotspot was High Street, where 11 crimes were committed. However Goodall Crescent, which has previously been tagged as Hucknall’s worst anti-social behaviour area, recorded just three offences.

The streets that suffered crimes in three or more categories are: Belvoir Street, Brookside, Curtis Street, High Leys Road, High Street, Pine Grove, Station Terrace, Story Gardens, Titchfield Street and Yorke Street.

The town’s police chief, Insp Nick Butler, echoed Insp West and called for residents to look behind the figures.

“The maps give an overview but this must be overlaid with local information,” he told the Dispatch. “If people just look at blobs on a map, it will frighten them.

“Do not read into this in isolation. There is a story behind each of these crimes. All types of offences are reducing and we are solving more crimes.”