Crime in Sutton has fallen in Sutton by 5.5% during the last year (April 2011-March 2012) and is lower than it’s been for a decade.
Sutton has consistently been one of the safest Boroughs in London and this sustained reduction means this is set to continue. Nonetheless Police, Council and other partners recognise that feeling safe is one of our residents’ most important priorities.
Crime has now reduced by 26.7% since 2005-06 when the Metropolitan Police and Sutton Council set up a jointly managed service to run the borough’s community safety services. This includes the local Safer Neighbourhoods policing teams, Council funded Safer Parks police teams and CCTV.
Borough Commander Guy Ferguson said he was very satisfied at the results but more determined than ever to be robust and relentless in the pursuit of the minority of criminal activity in the Borough. This was not an issue for the Police alone.
“Effective policing depends on public support and I believe our year-end figures are an indication of how police, local residents, Sutton Council and many other organisations in the borough are all working together to solve problems and create safer communities,” he said. “We need the public to continue to tell us not only what’s going on in their neighbourhoods but also how we can help them - and we promise to take all such information seriously and deal with it appropriately.”
There were reductions in the following crimes:
Residential burglary: 4.4%
Theft of motor vehicles: 30.8%
Theft from motor vehicles: 22.8%
Criminal damage: 7.9%
Violence with injury: 6.3%
Serious youth violence: 25.8%
Knife crime: 13.3%
Sutton initiatives during the year include:
- increased uniform policing across the borough during the day and night, increased targeting of known offenders
- more resources dedicated to town centres at specific times
- robust policies to tackle anti-social behaviour
- supporting vulnerable people and their carers to stay safe
- working with licensed premises to prevent problems arising
- instigating the Behave or Be Banned* scheme
- providing positive activities for young people to divert them from crime and ASB
- specific operations including uninsured drivers and metal theft**
- ensuring that personal robbery is a rare occurrence in this Borough***
- tackling domestic violence****
* Sutton’s Behave Or Be Banned (BOBB) scheme means anyone who is arrested in a member premises, such as a bar or shop, is banned from all the 70 member premises in Sutton and 94 in Merton. Around 30 people are being BOBB’ed each week in both boroughs. This is proving an effective deterrent.
** Sutton has also supported pan-London MPS initiatives which have included Operation Hawk to catch local criminals based on information from local communities and Operation CUBO to catch uninsured drivers - with research showing that 80% of uninsured vehicles are driven by people who are involved in criminal activities or have a criminal record. Both Operations Hawk and CUBO in the borough have resulted in dozens of arrests for a variety of motoring and other offences including drugs.
*** Personal robbery, which has been increasing across London and around the country, has increased in Sutton over the year by 15.0% - an increase of 36 robberies over the last year. Mobile phones have been targeted particularly. Personal robbery can range from bullying and intimidation through to armed robbery and Sutton’s personal robbery profile shows that the majority of robberies in the borough at the lower end of the spectrum where there is relatively minor contact between perpetrators and victims. This is borne out by serious youth violence being down 25.8% and knife crime down by 13.3% in the borough.
**** Although domestic violence has increased by 6.8%, it is an under-reported crime across the country, and police and Sutton Council want victims to come forward and report incidents to police. A One Stop Shop launched at Sutton Baptist Church on Wednesday mornings in Sutton in July last year, has proved successful with around 50% more than the expected number of victims seeking help from a number of experts including an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate from Victim Support, Legal Aid, Police and Citizen’s Advice.
Serious sexual offences (excluding rape which has reduced by 1.6%) have risen by 22.9% (27 more offences over the year) largely because of increased reporting around historic sexual offences and child abuse cases and more cases of indecent exposure for which a number of arrests have been made. As with domestic violence, police encourage victims to report any sexual offences - so we can investigate these incidents and build up descriptions of offenders and patterns of offending - to help us catch those responsible. Sexual offences are dealt with by specially trained police officers. Four out of five sexual offences are carried out by someone known to the victim.