Rise in crime figures
New figures show that general crime figures have risen on Anglesey over the past 12 months.
In 2018/19 the island reported an increase in victim-based crime of 20.7%, with councillors told that was largely down to more effective crime recording as opposed to a general increase in offending.
But, coupled with a further 5.5% increase so far in 2019/20, a new report also noted that the presence of organised drug gangs continues to be a “significant threat” in rural north Wales.
Scrutiny committee members, meeting in Llangefni on Tuesday, were told that the county lines agenda remains a “significant challenge” thanks to gangs coming in from the Manchester and Merseyside areas and establishing drug-dealing operations.
As a result, a joint group has been set up across Anglesey and Gwynedd, led by North Wales Police, with the aim of developing a county lines needs assessment for the region.
The Community Safety Partnership links the police with agencies such as Gwynedd and Anglesey councils and housing associations in the ongoing fight against crime.
But in a bid to raise children’s awareness of specific crimes that are based on exploitation for the benefit of others – such as county lines – the partnership will be developing further work, including within schools to raise awareness as part of the Schoolbeat Scheme.
The report also noted an increase in repeat victims of crime, which is attributed to a change in the crime recording, which has resulted in more repeat victims being identified.
Despite this, crime figures for the island remain below average, with drops also reported in several categories over the same period.
A decrease of -5.7% in acquisitive crime, including residential burglary, in the first half of 2019/20 when compared to the same period the previous year.
Hate Crime dropped by -40.0%, with 24 offences being recorded year-to- date in comparison to 40 for the year before.
Domestic crime also dropped, with repeat victims of domestic abuse on Anglesey dropping to 64 repeat victims year-to-date in comparison to 99 for the previous year.
High Risk Sexual Violence dropped by -37.7%
The number of repeat offenders has remained stable in the first half of 2019/20 and is -61.4% lower in comparison to 2018/19.
Meanwhile, anti-social behaviour was said to be “marginally lower” with action having been taken in some particular problem spots.
This is despite concerns by one councillor, who felt that anti social behaviour was “getting worse”.
Cllr Nicola Roberts said, “The figures for anti social behaviour seem rather low to me, personally I feel the issue is only getting worse but the figures don’t reflect this.”
But according to the partnership, action taken thus far covers several areas including surrounding Holyhead’s McDonalds restaurant where a specialist plan was devised to tackle the issue.
The report noted: “A lot of work has been done in relation to incidents at McDonald’s where PCSO’s came up with Problem Orientated Policing plan to overcome problems that were being reported by both staff and members of the public.
“Through education and engagement in conjunction with McDonald’s, issues were resolved and the project won an award at the recent North Wales Police Problems Solving Awards.”
The report was approved unanimously.
By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter
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