Police officers patrolling the coast near Skegness are continuing to ‘punch above their weight’ in the battle to reduce crime - despite ongoing funding issues.
That is the message from T/Coast Insp Matt Bennision after the latest statistics revealed a slight increase in crime along the coast of 1.30%, with an additional 63 offences recorded in the last 12 months.
A breakdown of the figures stated in the January East Lindsey Crime Briefing shows a reduction of burglaries, arson and criminal damage - but a sharp rise in sexual offences of 37.93% (55 more offences) and violence against the person +8.79% (101 more offences). The release of the statistics - following a year that saw armed officers on our streets in response to national terrorist attacks as well as a number of special operations to fight drugs – has had a mixed response locally.
Mayor of Skegness Coun Danny Brookes had hoped they would add weight to a campaign he started to get Lincolnshire County Council to switch the street lights back on overnight but there remains little evidence to support this.
T/ Coast Insp Bennison - who was one of the first officers in the county to trained on using the new TASER X2 which will be rolled out to 50% of frontline offers - is adamant the coast is still one of the safest places to live in the country.
He said: “I am never happy about any rise in crime, however small, but our officers continue to punch above their weight in spite of ongoing funding issues. The rises we have seen are still lower than national statistics and I take some comfort in that. There has been a sharp rise in sexual offences but that is only to be expected following the high profile cases exposed nationally and the public having greater confidence in the police to investigate them.”
T/ Coast Insp Bennison said his officers would continue to focus on “problem areas” but overall he was “incredibly proud” of his team.
He said: “Only this weekend there were three arrests which involved a huge amount of work for the CID. I am incredibly proud of all of my officers and the valuable work they do.”
In spite of lack of crime evidence towards the argument of getting the street lights switched back on overnight in Skegness, Coun Brookes said the public could expect the debate to carry on.
lSexual offences +37.93% (up 55)
lViolence against the person +8.79% (up 101)
lViolence against the person with injury +7.34% (up 43)
lVehicle crimes +5.19% (up 14)
lRobbery +2.86% (up 1)
lDrug offences +0.98% (up 2)
lBurglary -12.82% (down 101)
lArson and Criminal Damage -3.92% (down 25)