Hucknall leads way as crime plummets

ON THE BEAT -- Hucknall officers chat with a resident as part of their commitment to the community
ON THE BEAT -- Hucknall officers chat with a resident as part of their commitment to the community

HUCKNALL police’s crimefighting initiatives have proved so successful they are being rolled out across the county.

In the latest figures released by Nottinghamshire police, the force is boasting a significant fall in crime figures with Hucknall reporting its own success story.

Nottinghamshire has seen a reduction of almost 7,000 offences this year compared to 2011, with numbers of crimes across the county being reduced by half in the past decade.

Burglary numbers boast the biggest reduction in the past year with break-ins at homes falling by 24% county-wide.

In Hucknall burglary figures have dropped more dramatically by almost half at 44 per cent.

This move in the right direction is as a result of positive police action and public involvement.

“Despite Hucknall suffering a sudden spike in the number of burglaries in March this year, through Operation Divot we identified the offenders with the help of the community and locked them up,” explained Insp Nick Butler, Hucknall’s police chief.

“We made Hucknall a no-go area for such offenders, putting officers at strategic points on arterial routes, which proved very effective.

“This is now being replicated in other areas.”

The only category of crime in the county figures not seeing a reduction is theft and handling offences, which includes shoplifting. This increased slightly by just over one per cent but meant 283 extra offences of this nature reported in the past year.

However Hucknall officers managed to buck this trend with theft and handling in the town falling by 35%.

“This is extremely good news for the town,” added Insp Butler. “We have done something special in this area by working with the community to crack this problem.

“By setting up shopkeepers with the Shop Watch system and through the support of the community, including the Dispatch, we have tackled the problem head-on.

“Hucknall is leading the way and our strategies are now being rolled out elsewhere in the county.”

The only crime category which saw a rise was the number of sexual offences in the town, which rose by 16%.

“This doesn’t truly reflect the situation though,” explained Insp Butler. “The 16% equates to only one extra offence in real terms.”

Insp Butler puts the overall accomplishments locally down to the success of initiatives but also to the team effort involved in tackling crime.

“We have got good results, which we are delighted with, but it is all down to teamwork and working within partnerships,” he said. “I have been based in Hucknall for two years and enjoyed my time here. I feel very proud of the force and the community for positively working together.”

This sentiment is echoed by the assistant chief constable of Nottinghamshire Constabulary, Paul Broadbent.

“This sustained level of improvement is not just down to good policing or effective partnerships,” he said. “It has also been made possible through the help of the public.

“We know from detailed surveys that have been carried out that just as crime is on the decrease in Nottinghamshire, public confidence in the police is on the rise.

“They recognise the hard work that is going on to protect their communities, the speed with which our officers attend incidents and the support we give to victims of crime, and they respond to that.

“The result is that they are more willing to report crime and anti-social behaviour and to respond to appeals for information.”