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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Falling Barrow and South Lakes crime stats praised

FALLING crime levels in Barrow and the South Lakes have been attributed to a change in public attitudes by a senior police officer.

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POSITIVE NEWS: Mark Pannone, superintendent for South Cumbria, has welcomed the decrease in crime figures for Barrow and South Lakes

Statistics requested by Barrow MP John Woodcock in a written question to the home secretary, reveal drops in criminal damage, drug offences and violent crime over the past five years.

Criminal damage fell by 41.7 per cent from 2007 , including a 39 per cent drop in criminal damage to a vehicle and a 40.4 per cent decrease in criminal damage to a dwelling.

Drug offences overall are down by 21.6 per cent, although incidents of cannabis possession are slightly higher than in 2007.

Recorded incidents of possession of drugs excluding cannabis are down by 49 per cent, while drug trafficking is down by 41 per cent.

Superintendent for South Cumbria Mark Pannone said: “What we have here is a very positive story.

“I think particularly we can see a link between a fall in anti-social behaviour and other offences.

“Anti-social behaviour is down by 15 per cent compared to this time last year and what we have found is that by tackling anti-social behaviour we are also able to prevent and detect other crimes.

“I think people are less willing to accept anti-social behaviour now, or tolerate people getting drunk and committing alcohol related crime.

“We also have to take into account that nationally there are trends that we are part of.

“For example, there’s a reduction in the number of young people taking heroin, which reduces crimes associated with heroin use.”

“ It’s no secret that police morale is low nationally and that the police don’t feel supported by this government, but I have never seen this affect the level of service individual officers provide to communities being policed.”

Despite the positive message in the figures, Cumbria Police are facing challenges ahead as the force’s budget is cut by £19m by 2015.

Mr Woodcock said: “I commend hard working local police officers and our caring neighbourhoods for helping keep Furness one of the safer places in the UK to live.”

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