Bike thefts and arsons fall after successful prevention campaign
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Bike thefts and arson attacks have been reduced on a Mansfield estate after a successful crime cutting initiative.
Reports of both offences fell by 96 per cent during the course of a targeted six-month campaign on the Oak Tree Lane estate.
Launched in October last year, the Safer4All campaign focussed on prevention and education as police joined forces with other local partners to clamp down on antisocial behaviour and related crime.
As the UK marks Antisocial Behaviour Awareness Week, the new figures also show an 80 per cent fall in motorcycle thefts when compared to the six months to September 2022.
Concerned by the number of deliberate fires and thefts on the estate, Mansfield District Council made a successful £33,000 bid to the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner for Safer4All funding.
The council's Community Safety team has since been working with Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service to deliver an action plan to cut crime and antisocial behaviour on the estate.
It focused on crime prevention – or target hardening – measures, such as the distribution of good quality bicycle locks, anti-theft kits for motorbikes, and a schools education programme.
The effectiveness of the campaign has been measured against crime figures in the previous six months before the campaign began, and against a full pre-Covid years prior to March 2020.
Arson incidents had been the cause of particular concern, with the rate of offences almost doubling in the six months before the start of the campaign. In the six months since, only one offence has been reported.
Inspector Kylie Davies, district commander for Mansfield, said: “These kind of offences - and antisocial behaviour in general - can have a very significant impact on people’s quality of life.
“In this regard there is no such thing as a minor or less serious offence. So, if somebody’s motorbike is stolen or their bin is set on fire they can expect a very thorough police response.
“Prevention, however, is always better than cure so I am delighted that these measures appear to be paying off.”
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “I created the Safer4All fund to allow greater flexibility and resource for partners to work together to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour with targeted projects that can have a real impact on people’s quality of life.
“The way it has been delivered in the Oak Tree area shows it has had an impact and made it a safer place. Increased visibility from police, firefighters and the council’s Community Safety team, combined with crime prevention measures and education for young people has driven down incidents.
“This action shows that we are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with residents and are tackling issues that were causing concern.
“I would urge residents to keep reporting any crime and antisocial behaviour they experience so that partners can continue to understand the issues and put resources in place to deal with them.”
Cllr Angie Jackson, Joint Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, Health and Wellbeing, said: "We are aware that arson is more likely to happen in the summer so comparing the winter period against the summer period should be done with caution….
"That said, these results still represent a big improvement in crime reduction on Oak Tree and we are really encouraged by the success of this campaign. We hope it has improved the quality of life for residents there and is making the estate a better and safer place to live."
The Oak Tree Lane estate is currently designated a priority neighbourhood for the council, the local community safety partnership and the neighbourhood policing team. These teams are implementing actions to improve the quality of life for residents.
The Safer4All funding is from a pot of £800,000 that the PCC has allocated to support crime prevention initiatives between 2022 and 2025, with £100,000 assigned to each of the seven local authorities and the city council in the county, which equates to £33,300 per area per year.
Anyone with information about deliberate fire setting can call FireStoppers anonymously on 0800 169 5558. Anyone experiencing antisocial behaviour in the district can report it on the council website at www.mansfield.gov.uk/report. In an emergency always call 999.