Fall in crime reports after office closure

Reported crime has fallen by nearly 10 per cent since the closure of Belper’s police enquiry office, latest figures show.

The drop was revealed in latest force statistics for the area after Belper’s front counter was shut down under cost-cutting measures last March.

Now, Belper’s MP Pauline Latham has urged people to get in touch with her if they feel crime issues aren’t being tackled.

However, police say the reduction has come about because of improved policing tactics.

Mrs Latham said: “If people feel there are issues which are not being dealt with effectively then I urge them to get in touch with me and I will do everything I can to help.

“The closure of the Belper Police Station was very unfortunate but the current Government introduced the 101 line last year to make it easier for people to report crimes and contact the police.”

Figures from April 1, 2012 to 31 January this year show there were 517 crimes reported, compared to 569 the previous year – a 9.1 per cent decrease in the number of recorded crimes.

Inspector Richard Smith, who is in charge of policing across the Amber Valley, said: “Crime continues to fall in all areas across Derbyshire and in Belper crime has dropped by more than nine per cent since the start of the financial year.

“The majority of crimes are recorded following calls to 999 or 101, which is often the quickest and easiest way to get in touch with your local police.

“Very few crimes are actually reported to police through enquiry offices.

“We continue to target criminals through pro-active policing and help to prevent crime by working with our communities and partner agencies.”

In January last year, the force announced that it had to make the ‘difficult financial decision’ to close nine enquiry offices in the county and alter opening hours in some locations to best meet demand.

Police officers are still present at the Belper station, only the front counter service has closed.