Catching up with crime

From Spencer Drury, PPC for Greenwich & Woolwich

Because of the drawn out way that government departments work, it is often possible to miss out on the announcement of important reports. This was definitely the case with the Audit Commission’s inspection of Greenwich Council’s Community Safety Service, which took place in September 2008, went on the Audit Commission’s website in December 2008 and eventually before the Cabinet in March 2009. I did not see the results of this report make it into the local press, which is a shame.
The core findings were not positive for the Labour Council, with only one star being awarded on a scale of zero to three – this is below average, although the key says it means ‘fair’. The main findings were:- 
  • While crime had fallen, it was by less than the London average and burglary & robbery have increased. In addition, the Council had failed to meet central government five year crime reduction targets.
  • The Council does not know how its strategies impact on the overall level of anti-social behaviour.
  • Local perceptions of feeling safe have not improved.
In summary, burglary and robbery are rising and the Council has no idea how its strategies will affect these figures. In addition, where there are falls in crime, other parts of London have improved faster. 
Leader of Greenwich Conservatives, Cllr Spencer Drury said “Given the fact that this report states clearly that Labour’s Greenwich Council is not doing well on crime, I am astonished that they chose to reject Conservative proposals for more police teams in Eltham, Greenwich & Woolwich. Labour’s complacency is astonishing and this cannot be allowed to go on. Even their attempts to brainwash residents using Greenwich Time appear to have had little effect on people’s feelings about how safe they are.
This report represents a serious failure by the Council which I do not feel they are working hard enough to correct.”