THE Advertiser can today reveal the top 10 crime hot spots in Ormskirk.
The street-by-street map has been compiled using Home Office figures which show how many crimes are reported in each area.
The statistics are released monthly, making it possible to build a year-long map for our town.
Attributing incidents reported to the police to a location on or near where it happened, www.police.uk builds a detailed picture of crime committed on our streets.
The figures reveal that Moor Street is the crime capital of Ormskirk, with Church Street a close second.
Between December 2011 and November 2012, 133 crimes were committed on Moor Street, with 124 on Church Street. The same two streets featured at the top of last year’s map – the first year the figures were available.
But the figures also show that crime in our town has fallen by around a quarter since last year – with a total of 1,621 crimes committed in the past 12 months – compared to 2,051 the year before.
The statistics cover a wide range of crimes, from anti-social behaviour to violent crime, car crime and burglary.
They show that the town’s crime rate is broadly in line with the national average – but the biggest problem remains anti-social behaviour.
Just over half of the 1,621 crimes committed across Ormskirk were anti-social behaviour (ASB).
Of those 838 ASB crimes, May saw the highest spike with 96 reported, while the lowest was 43 in June.
There were 85 burglaries, 57 drug crimes, 96 cases of shoplifting, 156 violent crimes and 46 vehicle crimes committed over the most recent 12 month period.
Derby Ward Cllr David Sudworth said that while the drop in recorded crime was encouraging, there was no room for complacency.
He said: “Historically, West Lancashire is a safe place to live and we need to keep it that way. “That’s why Conservatives are investing heavily in extra CCTV coverage locally. I have regular meetings with the police where issues in Ormskirk town centre are discussed. The Derby Ward councillor team have also set up a non-emergency phone number for Derby Ward residents to report issues.
“Residents, businesses, the police, the council and its partners need to continue working hard together to make our area as safe as possible.”
Matt Middleton, of The Bicycle Lounge, Moor Street, agreed anti-social behaviour was the biggest issue in the town.
He said: “It is the main problem. Over the past few years after most Thursday and Saturday nights you come into work and have to wash the steps.”
Matt’s store was a victim of criminal damage on New Year’s Eve 2011, when his window was smashed. But he is pleased with how CCTV coverage is protecting the town.
He said: “We always get a call from CCTV operators if they spot anyone suspicious coming in, which is really good.”
Insp Christina Shorrock said burglary, vehicle crime and anti-social behaviour were Community Safety Partnership priorities, but urged caution in interpreting the figures.
She said: “Our response to night time economy issues in Ormskirk town centre is Operation Nightsafe, a multi agency initiative to tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder. Police and Street Pastors patrol the streets on Friday and weekend evenings to reassure the public and deal robustly with incidents.
“The public should be reassured that all crime and disorder in West Lancs is low and currently we continue to achieve year-on-year reductions. Anti-social behaviour has reduced by almost 20% and serious acquisitive crime by 22.9%, and these reductions are clearly evidenced by those [figures] produced by Police.uk.”
View Ormskirk Town Centre Crime map 2012 in a larger map
What this year’s Ormskirk crime map reveals
THE Ormskirk crime map shows where the top crime hot spots are across the town. It is argued the figures of some streets and locations include nearby areas too, painting an unfair picture. For example Market Way features on the list, but could have crimes that were committed near to the street attributed to it. This year, the figures go more in-depth than they have before. Where in last year’s statistics crimes were attributed to the nearest streets, this time they also include supermarkets, car parks and educational buildings. Derby Street West and Hall Brow Close both featured prominently last year, but don’t make the top 10 here – with the County Road BP Garage and Morrisons both featuring this time around. A total of 35 crimes were recorded as being committed “on or near” Edge Hill, placing the university 7th on the list. But Edge Hill said it had been rated highly in surveys of crime-free universities and expected to see a reduction in thefts and car crimes next year. A spokesman said: “The university was delighted to be identified by The Complete University Guide last year as the most crime-free campus in the north west and in the top five in England, and we offer 24/7 security staffing throughout the year. With number plate recognition cameras newly in place, we anticipate a further reduction in the small number of incidences of theft and car crime in the coming year.” In Burscough, Trevor Road and Mart Lane were hot spots, with 23 and 22 crimes recorded respectively between December 2011 and November 2012. In Tarleton, Mark Square had the highest number of crimes with 45. In Banks, crime figures were generally quite low, but Avenham Close stood out with a total of 158 crimes – higher than both Moor Street and Church Street in Ormskirk.