CRIME in West Lancashire is falling overall – but vehicle crime, burglary and drug offences are all on the up, according to recent figures.
The figures for 2012 and 2013 for all wards in the borough were obtained by the Advertiser following a Freedom of Information request.
On the whole, crime across West Lancashire has decreased but places such as Derby ward in Ormskirk have seen a 21% rise in recorded crime.
This rise in Derby ward is mostly due to the 46.5% rise in burglaries and the 90% increase in vehicle crime, including a 112% increase in thefts from a vehicle. Calls to the police about anti-social behaviour have dropped by 6.9% however, with 269 calls made in 2013.
In Scott ward, recorded crime increased by just 1.9%, but drug offences rose by 60%. There were also 27.6% more burglaries in the ward than 2012. Calls regarding anti-social behaviour also rose by 15% with 357 calls made to police.
In Aughton and Downholland, recorded crime decreased by 8.2%, however burglary increased by 5.9%, vehicle crime increased by 83.3% and calls to police about anti- social behaviour also rose by 28.8%.
Crime in Burscough West dropped by 19.5%, with a 53% decrease in serious acquisitive crime. However drug offences rose by 71.4% and burglary increased by 22.2%. Deliberate fires across the ward also rose by 250%.
In Burscough East, crime dropped by 2% and burglary also decreased by 39%. Vehicle crime increased by 66.7% however and serious acquisitive crime also rose by 100%.
Crime in Parbold increased by 19.3% with drug offences increasing by 100% and burglaries up by 107%. Calls to the police about anti-social behaviour also increased by 15%.
However crimes involving violence against the person decreased by 46% in the ward.
In North Meols, recorded crime decreased by 4.4%, but serious acquisitive crime increased by 50% and thefts from vehicles also rose by 183%.
Wrightington’s recorded crime increased by 7.6%, with burglary increasing by 15%, vehicle crime rising to 17% and calls regarding anti-social behaviour going up by 23%. Violence against the person decreased by 25% however.
Halsall was the ward with the largest increase in crime year-on-year with a rise of 56.9% in recorded crime – however with only 80 crimes recorded in 2013, crime levels remain low. Similarly, in Newburgh recorded crime rose by 40% but this was from 50 recorded crimes to 70 for 2013.
The figures also reveal that calls to police about domestic violence have sharply increased in some wards. In North Meols, there were 42.3% more calls made last year than 2012. In Scarisbrick, similarly, there were 41.7% more calls and, in Rufford, there were a staggering 112.5% more made.
In recent months, police officers across West Lancashire have tried to increase their visibility among the community, patrolling the streets regularly and keeping social media channels updated.
Regarding the latest figures, the Advertiser spoke to the Geographic Inspector for West Lancashire, Christina Shorrock.
Inspector Shorrock said: “With respect to criminality and anti- social behaviour in the West Lancs area, we are dedicated to keeping our local communities safe, keeping levels of crime low and to delivering a high quality of service to victims of crime.
“We continue our activity in response to cross border criminality and work closely with Merseyside and Greater Manchester Police, conducting plain clothes and highly visible operations on our arterial routes in response to spikes in crime.
“We also recognise that communities themselves and our partners play a significant role in crime reduction and prevention so we are grateful for their continued support. We would urge residents to remain vigilant and keep their homes, sheds and garages secure at all times as so many crimes are easily preventable.
“We will continue to disrupt organised criminality and drug dealing in our areas, we work closely with West Lancashire Borough Council and other agencies involved in the West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership and take a robust, zero tolerance approach to disrupt, tackle and prevent those individuals in organised criminality and drug dealing from operating in Skelmersdale.
“It should be noted that here in West Lancashire our performance in all crime categories is well within the three-year strategic target set by the Home Office.”