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Police tell Heart they saw a drop in night crime during December - it's after they ran special campaigns and carried out extra patrols.
During the month of December 2011 police in Portsmouth, in conjunction with Safer Portsmouth Partnership professionals collaborated on a plan to reduce crime and disorder within the city with a focus on reducing crimes, especially during theperiods of the city’s vibrant night time economy between 9pm and 5am.
Analysis from the previous year established that Community Safety activity during this time would greatly minimise the risk to residents and visitors to the city during the festive period.. The One Punch Can Kill video hasbeen released on social networking sites and was played in pubs and clubs at Gunwharf Quays throughout December.
Additional resources were provided by Hampshire Constabulary’s specialist teams including the Roads Policing Unit, CID and domestic abuse specialists. Extra patrols were carried out in specific neighbourhoods where burglary,anti-social behaviour and criminal damage were identified as an increasing problem. Safer Neighbourhood Teams, Licensing Team officers, Portsmouth City Council Community Wardens, CCTV and volunteer Street Pastors were all involved. Support from the local NHSin respect of the Safe Space initiative in Guildhall Walk was also enhanced during the festive period.
In addition, further patrols were in place to respond to domestic violence reports and make preventive visits to victims and offenders before problems escalated into physical violence.
The outcome of this activity, in summary, was that serious acquisitive crime, which includes burglary, robbery and vehicle crime was reduced by 48% compared to the same period last year. Reported rape offences fell from 11to 8 and Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) and Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) reports each fell by 26% during the period.
Portsmouth District Commander Superintendent Norman Mellors said: “These results reflect a huge effort in planning and collaborative work with Safer Portsmouth Partnership, licensees, volunteers and residents across the city.
“There is a great determination within community leaders to try and make our city safer, especially between 9pm and 5am when the city’s night time economy is busiest. Whilst alcohol remains a significant influence in seriousviolent crimes such as rape, GBH and domestic violence, a great deal of work remains to promote the responsible use and sale of alcohol within the city. Clearly, the licensees and security staff have made very effort to reduce crime, especially violent crime.
“I was pleased that we prevented numerous reports of disorder escalating into more serious assaults. New Years Eve is always a busy time for services and Safe Space saw a number of patients duringNew Years Eve and New Years Day with a variety of injuries and illnesses – not all caused by alcohol. This is a great example of City partnership working between Hampshire Constabulary, the Safer Portsmouth Partnership and South Central Ambulance Service volunteersto keep the residents and visitors to Portsmouth safe whilst enjoying the city.
“We will continue to work with professionals within the Safer Portsmouth Partnership and licensing industry to promote responsible drinking and professionally run clubs and pubs during 2012.”