BEAT bobbies in Eastwood are urging residents in the town to make sure they report crimes – and pledged to keep their identity anonymous if necessary.
The plea came after Eastwood mayor Ken Woodhead told officers that many crimes were going unreported because of fear of reprisals.
He made the claim at an Eastwood Town Council meeting when Sgt Andy Browning told councillors that crime rates were reducing every month.
Comparing figures during September last year, with those of September this year, he said they had reduced in every single area – with anti-social behaviour figures going from 126 reported incidents last year, to 83 this year.
But Cllr Woodhead warned the council that he felt the figures were misleading because of the amount of problems which are not reported to officers.
He argued they do not give people an accurate picture of how much anti-social behaviour is going on in the town and warned that crime might not be reducing as much as officers think, if at all.
“It’s fair enough what they are saying for the incidents that have been reported, but what about the ones that haven’t?’” he said.
“People say they don’t get anywhere. When I talk to people and say to them ‘have you rang the police?’, they say ‘it’s a waste of time, we don’t get any responses’.”
However, Pc Martin Battison said that people should rest assured that it is safe to talk to the police.
“I want to encourage anyone living in fear to come forward and tell us,” he said.
“We respect residents’ wishes towards anonymity at all times and, while in some cases this can limit a direct investigation, the intelligence gained from the reports will ensure we are aware of the situation and able to explore avenues of tackling such problems by other means.”