Newark and Sherwood is the joint safest district in Nottinghamshire, according to new crime statistics.
New indicative figures, released by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner, report that the rate of crime in the district between April 2018 and March this year, was the lowest in the county.
The survey concluded that within the 12-month period, the percentage of respondents having been a victim of crime in Newark and Sherwood was just 14 per cent, compared with Nottingham and Broxtowe, where the figure was 24 per cent of respondents.
In the past year, since Newark and Sherwood District Council launched its Cleaner, Safer and Greener initiative, the council, its partners and the police have taken a tougher stance on offenders who compromise the safety and welfare of residents.
The council is currently in the process of upgrading its CCTV camera coverage across the district to improve security and enable more efficient and effective responses to incidents that are shared with police.
As well as the partnership approach with police to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, the council has also extended its frontline ability to deal with groups and individuals who break the law and make life a misery for residents.
In January, two community protection officers were recruited, with an additional two officers due to start shortly, with the power to issue fixed penalty notices (FPNs), ensure effective enforcement and increase public awareness of crime issues.
The officers spend a vast majority of their time in the community, working directly with the public, the police, residents, businesses, key partners and parish and town councils to create safer communities.
Council leader David Lloyd said: “We have invested and will continue to invest in measures to improve safety and help minimise crime in the district.”
“Being proactive, working with partners including the police and dealing with issues head-on has been a key part of the Cleaner, Safer and Greener initiative. We will continue to take an uncompromising approach to crime and will take appropriate action to deal with individuals who clearly do not respect the area or those who live there.”
The council has also helped set up a number of neighbourhood watch groups involving police, retailers, county and parish councils, to provide a forum for residents to raise concerns over crime in communities including Balderton and Hawtonville in Newark.
Balderton Safer Partnership was set up in August 2018 following a significantly above average number of reported incidents of anti-social behaviour in the Coronation Park, Balderton Lakes and Lakeside Shopping Centre areas.
April and May last year saw an above average total of 32 reported spates of anti-social behaviour in the area. Comparatively, between October last year and January, the monthly volume of reported incidents had dramatically reduced to an average of two reports per month.
The Balderton Safer Partnership continues to work with agencies, local retailers and the police to ensure this improvement is maintained.
Inspector Heather Sutton, district commander of Newark and Sherwood police, said: “The results of the indicative survey are very pleasing and I am extremely proud of the work the police, council, and partners have put in.
“The community has played a huge role in helping to keep the area safe, they aren’t afraid to speak up, get involved and help us identify and solve problems. We have focused on long term problem solving, this work will continue with the pace and flex dictated by the needs of each area. Crime and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and every effort will be made to bring offenders to justice.”
To tackle alcohol misuse and crimes associated with underage drinking, a Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) was also set up as part of the Cleaner, Safer and Greener initiative. Excessive drinking has the ability to impair judgement, promote aggressive behaviour and increase the likelihood of crimes including vandalism and property damage.
Since the launch of the Ollerton, Boughton and Edwinstowe CAP, which is made up of retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers, a wide range of activities have taken place to help deal with problems of crime and anti-social behaviour caused by alcohol.
The CAP was recognised for its work improving the lives, health and wellbeing of young people in Newark and Sherwood and was awarded Project of the Year in the inaugural Notts Getting Active Together awards this year.