New Forest Crime Up 20%
I think a lot of local people will be shocked but not surprised that crime has increased in the New Forest for the second year running, this time by a whopping 20%.
The conservatives really need to start worrying about this because they really cannot keep trying to shift the blame on anyone else.
The way crime is being recorded has changed a little, but this is true for almost every year.
The Tory government are often changing the rules the police have to follow.
The cynical amongst think that it provides a convenient method for explaining away any increases.
Believe me, the increases we are seeing now go way beyond any change in recording methods.
I have some social media posts relating to local crime that blame the police for “poor performance”.
I am afraid this is unfair and wide of the mark.
The ultimate buck starts with the Tory government.
It is they who have reduced funding to the police, forcing organisations like Hampshire Constabulary to try and do an ever increasingly difficult job with less money and fewer officers.
It’s worth reminding ourselves that the job they now do is a lot different from even 10 years ago.
There is a lot more resource put into dealing with things like the terrorism threat and cybercrime.
Generally, society owns a lot more things.
There is more stuff that can be stolen, including mobile phones.
It is the same Tory government who replaced the democratically elected Police Authorities, comprising of Councillors who knew what was going on in their areas, with an out of touch and remote salaried Police & Crime Commissioner.
It’s also “the cuts”, whether you want to blame government or the local authorities that have contributed towards the increases in crime.
If you cease or cut back things like positive activities for young people, then the impact is entirely predictable.
If struggling families aren’t supported, then again it isn’t hard to see that consequences will follow.
In a country which sometimes views it as a crime to be poor, then some of the downtrodden who cannot find shelter or food are going to commit crime as a coping strategy.
Others are going to use drink or drugs, especially if mental health problems are involved.
The abandonment even continues when people are locked up.
Our prisons are overcrowded, with little in the way of rehabilitation work and inadequate support when they are released.
No criminal held a board meeting at the start of last year and decided that they were going to increase productivity by 20%.
The increase is entirely down to consequences in cutting back on those things that actually cost society more if not properly funded.
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I must admit to a slight sinking feeling whenever the thick file of papers known as the Agenda and reports for the next District Council planning committee fall on my doormat.
The District Council formally decided to adopt new powers that will enable them to levy fines at the registered owners of vehicles, if any litter is thrown out, whether by the driver or a passenger.