How can we successfully tackle crime in Sevenoaks?
By Alan Bullion
Talking Point for Sevenoaks Chronicle/Kent Live - published as the second article in a series on March 1 2018
Question: According to police figures, recorded offences show a 14% year on year increase across England and Wales. Is this a true reflection of crime in our area?
Answer from Cllr. Merilyn Canet:
If you live in Sevenoaks District, the police figures show you are less likely to be a victim of crime than almost anywhere else in Kent. Only Tunbridge Wells is significantly safer. And Kent is safer than the national average, so something is going right!
As a councillor I get to see the crime reports published by the police for Sevenoaks, and most of them are minor thefts, antisocial behaviour and car crime. Relatively few are violent or threatening to individuals. But the numbers of crimes reported are increasing, and reports seem to come in 'bursts', like the recent surge in BMW thefts here.
But things are changing. Different types of crime - like fraud over the internet and domestic abuse - are growing, and this requires new approaches by police.
Kent Police are asking for up to 200 more officers and 80 more support staff, with new training to tackle these new threats. We need to find ways of helping them meeting the challenge.
Many of us now know how to protect our homes and property better against crime, so criminals are adapting. We need better training for everyone on how to use the internet safely and defeat the scammers. It's easier now to report crime to the police online, what we need are more effective ways for the police to help us all beat online fraud.