Last night we had a meeting with Police Inspector Russell Magnall, who is responsible for the Ramsbottom, Tottington and North Manor township. The meeting followed concerns expressed by residents about crime in our town. We also asked Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner, who is responsible for Policing in Crime, to respond to us about these concerns.
In particular, we asked about reported crime rates for Ramsbottom which record the following number of offences in our town by year:
2011 – 902
2012 – 879
2013 – 704
2014 – 647
2015 – 775
2016 – 880
The figures show that whilst recorded crime fell for 4 years, it has increased over the last two years back to 2011/12 levels.
Inspector Magnall reassured us that recorded crime continues to be at low levels and that the bulk of the increase in recorded crime from 2014 onwards is predominantly due to a change in how crime is recorded by GMP. In 2014 the National Crime Recording Standards were introduced and many incidents which had not previously been recorded as crimes, now had an automatic registration as a crime as soon as a report is made to 999.
We know that every crime can have terrible effects on victims and Greater Manchester Police and the Police & Crime Commissioner always need to put effort into reducing crime. Even one criminal can have a devastating effect on an area. There have been several spates of burglaries across Ramsbottom. A total of 9 local burglars were caught in the autumn of 2016 thanks to the hard work of GMP officers. All have recently been sentenced and imprisoned.
GMP remind us that crime levels generally in Ramsbottom are very low compared to other areas around Bury and indeed, they tell us that Bury is the safest borough to live in Greater Manchester. Radcliffe, for example, had approaching 4,000 crimes reported in 2016 – well over 4 times that of Ramsbottom.
GMP Officers are using more forms of technology (hand-held IT devices) and are much more mobile – being more innovative despite funding pressures.
As Councillors we will continue to impress on GMP and the GMPCC the need to ensure that we receive the same level of attention as do other areas.