In recent weeks there have been a couple of articles in the Kirklees media that have reported local councillors’ concerns about the police not informing the public about crime in their area.
I would like to take this opportunity to add to the comments that we have already given in response to these stories and to hopefully better inform readers of the considerations we need to make.
Let me start by being very clear, we do not cover up crime, it is not in anyone’s interest to do so. Local crime figures are made readily available and in the public domain at www.police.uk. - a crime statistics website that allows people to enter their postcode and see what crimes have been committed in their area.
Local councillors are in regular contact with their local Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspectors, and discuss crime issues in an area. Equally, any members of the public who want to know what is going in their community can also speak to their local NPT, either over the phone or by attending their local PACT meetings, which are regularly held and advertised on the NPT websites.
Being the victim of crime is a traumatic experience and we will always take into consideration the wishes of the victims. Some people ask us not to publicise a crime they have been involved in and we will respect that position.
We issue appeals for witnesses in the media when officers need to attract more witnesses to a crime. If this is not necessary, when for example an officer has spoken to all witness, or has made arrests, we do not always need to issue appeals in the media.
We continually take all opportunities to make people safer through issuing crime prevention advice, often through the media, which we would hope people use regularly and not just when crime occurs locally.
What is fact is that by working together we have reduced crime in Kirklees in the last year by over 4000 crimes. In the case of burglary, which has been the focus of these recent articles, we have seen just over 900 less victims of burglary in the last 12 months. We strive to drive this down even further and continue our close working relationship with the public and media.
Supt David Lunn