Crime drop welcomed

CRIME has fallen by 14 percent in the Morpeth police sector during 2010/11.

Neighbourhood Inspector Alison Best paid tribute to the work of officers in achieving the result, which meant there were 163 fewer offences reported.

The biggest reduction was in vehicle crimes (43 percent), there were 75 less cases of criminal damage (30 percent) and burglaries went down by 18 percent.

There was no change in the number of violent crimes over the 12-month period, standing at 301.

Insp Best said: “It has been an extremely positive year for the Morpeth area.

“We have seen drops in vehicle crime, burglary other than dwelling and burglary of dwelling and criminal damage.

“We have managed to maintain our performance in the area around violent crime through a number of ways — by maintaining a high profile, highly visible policing presence in the town centre at the key times, by continuing to work in the town centre to ensure that offences linked to the night time economy remain at a minimum and by officers taking action quickly and early in situations that have the potential to escalate.

“These tactics help make sure that residents and visitors to Morpeth are able to enjoy the area’s vibrant night life safely.

“Although the figures for the last year are positive, we will not get complacent. We will continue to work with our partners and the community to ensure that Morpeth remains a safe place for us all.”

The sector has run a number of operations as part of its work. Operation Galloway aimed to tackle youth disorder at the bus station in Morpeth, Operation Gulf focused on disorder in residential areas like Pegswood, Hadston and Widdrington, and Operation Carmen was a joint operation with the Alnwick sector and partners to tackle rural crime.

Operation Goddard addresses the problem of speeding motorists in rural areas. Since its launch, 44 people have been warned, ten have been issued with fixed penalty notices and two have been summoned to court.