EDITOR – I was pleased to read Inspector Simon Outen’s article in the Rasen Mail stating that tackling metal theft was his major priority and that he wished to get the basics right: crime investigation, relationship with the community and pro-actively dealing with and arresting offenders.
So far as I can see, this approach represents a welcome change in direction and, if acted upon, has to be applauded and supported.
Following concerns about the ineffectiveness of the police to deal with this problem in our area, I have for the past 18 months kept a log of all local crime and asked the police for the numbers of charges brought.
After pressing Simon Outen’s predecessor for these figures without success and finally the Chairman of the Lincolnshire Police Authority, also without success, I came to the conclusion that the figures were so embarrassingly poor that a cover-up had been organised.
We, the residents of Middle/Market Rasen, I estimate (I cannot obtain the figure) pay a policing precept of around £500,000 for which there appears to be no accountability.
Having been successfully thwarted at every attempt to obtain results, Edward Leigh very kindly contacted the chief constable on my behalf, which led to a recent meeting with Inspector Simon Outen.
We discussed the issues of metal theft, effective policing, confidence in the police to deal with ‘real’ crime and accountability.
Following this meeting, once again those who we pay to decide what we should know have blocked the release of meaningful statistics.
However, with everyone’s help this cloak of secrecy could be lifted: crime statistic can no longer be hidden as they have to be published on the police.uk website and I believe that the Government are discussing the possibility of publishing detection results on the same site.
What is needed is for everyone to write to their MP in support of this move so that hopefully it becomes reality.
I am aware that much respect for the police has been lost as a result of years of not tackling ‘real’ crime but now urge everyone to give our new Inspector a chance by reporting every crime, every case of suspicious behaviour and the movements of vehicles carrying ‘scrap’.
As Simon Outen points out, his team cannot be everywhere and we need to be his eyes and ears.
I firmly believe that if we as a community can act together to provide the intelligence that the police need and they act upon this information we can make Rasen a no-go area for criminals.
In return for our precept and support, I believe we should expect measurable results which can be used to change the perception that ‘real’ crime is not being tackled and to restore our confidence in the police to protect us.
The number that people should call is 0300 111 0300, because a lot of people I think do not know what number to call if they see a crime.
I would also be nice to keep this new commitment going to that it does not just blow over and we continue to see a police prescene.