Witney News - Communities to benefit from new 3 year crime plan

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Communities to benefit from new 3 year crime plan

Reducing alcohol-related crime, underage drinking and anti-social behaviour are all top priorities in the West Oxfordshire Community Safety Plan 2008-11 which will be considered by the District Council's Cabinet on Wednesday 2 April.

Cutting violent crime including domestic violence, reducing criminal damage and environmental crime, reducing speeding and supporting vulnerable communities better are also key priorities.

Following extensive public consultation, the three year rolling plan has been drawn up by West Oxfordshire Community Safety Partnership which includes Thames Valley Police, West Oxfordshire District Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust and a wide range of other local public bodies and community organisations.

Cllr Jill Dunsmore, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Communities at West Oxfordshire District Council said: “Our vision is to protect and enhance the quality of life in West Oxfordshire and work in partnership to maintain the district as a safe place to live, work and visit.”

“There is a very strong commitment among our members to work together and share resources to reduce crime and disorder still further in West Oxfordshire in the future.”

“We are an innovative partnership willing to try new things but it is only by working together and involving the local community that real progress can be made over the next three years to achieve our goals.”

A strategic intelligence assessment carried out last year found that recorded crime in the district continued to be low with crimes per thousand population dropping to 29.1 in 2006/7 compared to 31.1 for 2003/4.

As part of this assessment, a consultation with the Oxfordshire Citizen's Panel showed that the district came joint top with Vale of White Horse for safety after dark with 75% of residents feeling safe when walking alone at night and 95% feel safe during the day.

Another consultation with West Oxfordshire Citizen's Panel, community groups and other organisations found that 91% of respondents agreed that tackling the priorities now included in the new Community Safety Plan will effectively reduce crime and disorder in the district.

Identified by West Oxfordshire's five Neighbourhood Action Groups these priorities were:-
• Alcohol
• Anti-social behaviour
• Neighbourhood priorities – speeding in particular
• Police visibility
• Criminal damage and vandalism

Statistics show that there were increases in recordable incidences of domestic violence with 444 cases reported during 2006/7 which were 45% higher than in 2003/4. This increase is viewed positively as it reflects the work done by the many agencies in the field to increase the understanding and awareness and to encourage more victims to come forward. Domestic violence crime includes all levels of assault, harassment cases, threats to kill, theft and criminal damage related to domestic abuse.

Chief Inspector Dennis Evernden, Police Area Commander for West Oxfordshire said: “Our district has some of the lowest levels of crime and disorder in the Thames Valley and by working in partnership with key agencies the new three year strategy will help us reduce these further.”

“I am extremely pleased with the work completed by the Partnership in the past and I know that by consulting with our local communities we can continue to build on our performance and achieve good results.”

Copies of the West Oxfordshire Community Safety Plan 2008-11 can be downloaded from the Council's website by logging on to www.westoxon.gov.uk/communitysafety or can be obtained by phoning 01993 861633.

Posted : 31/03/2008 15:56:31

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