New policing priorities for Harrogate district

Crime commissioner Julia Mulligan pictured with Chief Constable Dave Jones.
Crime commissioner Julia Mulligan pictured with Chief Constable Dave Jones.
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Policing priorities for the Harrrogate district for the next two years have been revealed by the county’s crime commissioner.

Anti-social behaviour, road safety, drugs and the night-time economy are all being highlighted as issues to tackle.

Revealed in the new and updated police and crime plan, in place until 2016, the priorities have been created after consultation, and crime commissioner Julia Mulligan is now asking for feedback.

“This plan has been developed after spending a lot of time finding out what the public want from their police locally,” said Mrs Mulligan.

“I hope the priorities reflect what people feel on the ground. I now need to know what individuals and communities think of the plan, and would encourage anyone interested in crime and anti-social behaviour to read the new plan and let me know what they think.”

The draft plan reveals county-wide priorities to protect vulnerable people, cut crime and anti-social behaviour, focus on prevention and early intervention and improve victims care. Locally, the crime plan says, that focus centres around drink and drugs, anti-social behaviour and road safety.

“While statistics and consultation show relatively low crime rates and that people generally feel safe, that’s not the whole story,” the crime plan reports. “You’ve told us that the area is affected by drug use and road safety, which has informed our priorities when devising this plan for your local community.”

Most people in Harrogate - 94 per cent - feel safe in the area, the report said. But there were a number of key issues;

l A third of residents (35 per cent) believe drug use is the single largest contributing factor to crime. This is five per cent higher than in other North Yorkshire district.

l The night-time drinking culture contributes to people feeling unsafe.

l Harrogate people are more concerned about road safety than other districts in North Yorkshire (41 per cent compared to 37 per cent).

l Six per cent of survey residents do not feel safe when walking alone in their local area at night.

l A quarter of residents (27 per cent) fear their homes being burgled or broken into.

l Seven per cent fear their home or property being vandalised or damaged.

l 54 per cent would like to see greater police visibility on the street.

Some measures have already been put in place in the district to deal with the issues and drug dog patrols, trialed last year in the run up to Christmas, are to become a regular feature. Further programmes, including a community project called Lifestyle Challenge which ran this summer, are aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour.

What do you think? Have your say. Visit www.northyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/police-crime-plan to view the full plan, or write to the Editor at the address on Page 8.