A NEW policing strategy in Fenland has resulted in a massive drop in crime over the past year, it was announced this week by force commander Chief Inspector Mike Winters.

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Year on year, the number of crimes in the district has dropped by 1,000, and the fight to cut the continuing problem of shop lifting, house burglary and car crime continues.

Chief Insp Winters says he was “delighted” when the yearly crime figure reduced from 5,600 to 4,600 this week.

“We monitor figures monthly and crime reduction is as important as detecting crime,” he said. “We were confident our reduction rate was significant, it has been maintained at between 19 and 20 per cent for some time.

“There is not a competition with other districts in the force, but we do have the best crime reduction figure for anywhere in Cambridgeshire.”

It was last April that a dedicated Fenland policing team was created, with a substantial number of officers and PCSOs stationed in Wisbech 24/7, rather than most officers operating out of March.

“The creation of the team led to the team identifying themselves with Fenland, they take a pride in the district and know what is going on and where, and who is doing it,” explained Chief Insp Winters.

“We have been able to target offending in hot spots and target people who are committing a disproportionate amount of crime. That policy is really working well, it has really paid off.”

The Chief Insp has also paid tribute to the integrated offender management scheme for helping to cut crime, with representatives from police, probation and the district council focusing on offenders who cause a high level of crime

“Between us we can target all the issues that cause people to commit crime, such as housing or family problems,” he said. “We can help offenders get away from crime if they want to, or they feel the full force of police action.”

Despite crime figures reducing substantially in Fenland, they are still slightly above average. “We recognise we still have a lot of work to do,” added the Chief Insp .

Shoplifting figures are particularly high in Wisbech, he said, and the police will continue to work with the Community Safety Partnership to target that and other serious crimes such as house burglary and car crime.

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