VOTE: Does Bognor feel safer to you?

Generic images from Sussex Police
Generic images from Sussex Police

CRIME is plummeting around Bognor Regis.

Reported incidents to the police in the town have dropped more than in any other area in Sussex.

Inspector Nick Bowman, the community policing head at the town’s police station, said there had been a 17.6 per cent drop in the total number of incidents between last April and last week compared to the previous year.

That equalled 750 less incidents and victims of crime.

“This, of course, is very welcome,” he told councillors on the joint western Arun area committee last Wednesday.

“But there are some areas where crime is rising. I welcome those as well, believe it or not.

“They are drug crimes. We only find out about them when we put our hand on the shoulder of the person who has committed the crime.

“When we discover that crime, we record the crime. The more drug crime we record, I say that’s a good thing because we are getting to the root of the problem.”

He said some of the types of crime in which fewer incidents had been recorded in the past 11 months were: auto thefts down 24 per cent; burglaries of homes down 34 per cent; burglaries of other premises down 56 per cent; criminal damage down 20 per cent; and anti-social behaviour, which was down 27 per cent.

Figures given to the committee showed offences in Hotham ward had dropped by 83 to 531 from April 1 to January 31. Those in Marine ward were down by 105 to 931.

The number of offences in Pagham were 154 for a reduction of 80.

Insp Bowman said police officers in the town were also buoyed by a detection rate of 38 per cent of crimes – a figure above the national average.

Most victims of crime were also happy with the way they were treated by the police, he said. They gave the officers an 86 per cent satisfaction rating and 80 per cent said they had been kept informed about the investigation.

“We will continue working hard,” said Insp Bowman. “We are not complacent.

“It will be really hard next year to build on the reductions we have seen this year, but we will do everything we can to sustain and improve it.”

His comments came as Sussex Police’s year end on March 31 approaches.

Bognor town councillor Pat Dillon said he had seen some recent police work.

“I’m very impressed by the service we are getting,” he said.

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