Hucknall’s cops force crime-levels back 30 years

TOP COP -- Insp Nick Butler, who only took over as Hucknall's police chief six months ago, has thanked the public for their support
TOP COP -- Insp Nick Butler, who only took over as Hucknall's police chief six months ago, has thanked the public for their support

ASTONISHING new figures have revealed that crime in Hucknall has been slashed to its lowest level for 30 years.

House burglaries are down, robberies have been cut, violent crime has plummeted and vehicle crime has dropped.

Officers are also solving almost one in every three crimes reported — one of the best success rates in living memory.

What’s more, according to a survey, residents of the town are more satisfied with their bobbies on the beat than in any other part of the entire county.

Hucknall’s police chief, Insp Nick Butler, declared: “We are working every day to see what we can do to make a difference — and it is paying off.

“Every day is different. But there is always an opportunity. Every day, criminals are making mistakes. We are finding those clues and acting on them.”

Overall, crime in Hucknall plunged by 17.1% when comparing the period April 1 2010 to March 31 this year with April 1 2009 to March 31 2010.

Not since 1981 has Hucknall basked in such figures — during the days when Prince Charles married Diana, MTV first aired and the average price of a house in Nottinghamshire was just £24,188.

The statistics translate to 559 fewer victims of crime, while the number of offences fell from 3,273 to 2,714.

Crimes such as burglary, robbery and attacks on vehicles experienced a fall of 28.8. But the star performing category was burglary, which dropped 49.2% from 303 break-ins to 196.

Robbery alone fell by 35% from 61 attacks to 31 in the town, while vehicle crime alone went down 16.5% from 260 offences to 217.

Anti-social behaviour dropped by 12.5% and violent crime fell by 19.1%. Operations in Hucknall town centre, with the help of Special Constables, are said to have had an impact on alcohol-fuelled trouble at weekends.

The figures mean Hucknall’s police force is one of the best-perfoming units in the whole of Nottinghamshire, where crime has fallen by 14.2% overall.

The customer-satisfaction survey entailed victims of crime being questioned on how well Hucknall police officers had performed.

Of those who took part, 64.9% said they were satisfied — the best result in the county.

The rate at which crime in the town is being solved is also on the increase.

In the last year (April 1 2010 to March 31 2011), officers in Hucknall cleared up 26.7% of all crimes reported.

Several years ago, the so-called ‘detection rate’ was hovering around 13%.

“This is very important to me,” said Insp Butler. “A lot of research has come out about how best to reduce crime and, unsurprisingly, the best way is to solve crime.”

Insp Butler explained that, each day, his officers have a ‘scrumdown’ to come up with a plan of action, including identifying targets and lining up warrants.

They also have a duty to contact victims of crime to keep them up to date with investigations. This requirement is all part of lofty ambitions to make the Nottinghamshire force the best in the country by 2015.

“But it is not just about the police on the streets,” added Insp Butler, who has been at the helm in Hucknall for six months. “It is about working with the public and we have to say a big thankyou. Without their information, we wouldn’t be able to do our job.

“We also get a lot of support from the community protection officers employed by Ashfield District Council and other agencies.”