Winter crime gets frozen out

WINTER crime in Northumberland has dropped to its lowest level for 10 years.

Figures for December show there was a nine per cent fall in reported crime on the previous year, while the 755 incidents recorded were the lowest for the month over the past decade.

The fall coincided with Operation Gabriel, which involved police working alongside Northumberland County Council to tackle issues of concern, such as anti-social behaviour, alcohol-related crime and disorder.

Each of the county’s nine neighbourhood teams put in place their own plans to tailor the operation to particular issues of concern in their communities.

They included officers carrying out patrols in problem areas at key times, regular checks on licensed premises and crime-prevention events.

Temporary Chief Superintendent Dianne Winship said: “This activity is a direct result of communities telling us what their priorities are and what they wanted officers to focus on over the winter period.

“The fact that figures for December are the lowest we have seen for the month over the last ten years is testament to the hard work done by officers and partners.

“These results are an excellent start to 2013 and we are committed to improving on this drop in crime and will continue to work with the local council and other partners to make sure we do.”

She added: “We need people to speak to us and tell us what their priorities are. I’d urge residents to come to the neighbourhood meetings, speak to officers on the beat and share their concerns with us. If they do, we will act on them.”