A police chief has said people’s perception of crime is often higher than actual incidents.
It comes as figures show that 19% of Kirklees residents feel the level of crime has increased in the last 12 months, when there has in fact been a 6% reduction.
Chief Supt Tim Kingsman said: “The correlation between the numbers of crime and the perception doesn’t follow.
He was speaking at Kirklees Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Panel for Development and Environment and said incidences of serious crime should not worry the wider public after being quizzed on the issue by Clr Nigel Patrick.
Chief Supt Kingsman added: “Serious crime overall is extremely low in Kirklees. I think as people have highlighted antisocial behaviour and road safety as issues for them it shows they don’t experience serious crime.
“Every morning we discuss whatever incidents of a serious nature have happened in the district... there is no pattern for serious crime, it tends to be individual problems.”
Overall crime has reduced by 54% in the past decade.
In the first six months of 2014/15 there were 793 fewer offences than the same period last year, with 11,796 offences overall.
There were 845 domestic burglaries in the first six months of 2014/15 - down by 134 offences (14%); vehicle crime has 144 offences lower than in 2013/14 - a 10.5% drop.
However, there were 87 more offences of assault with injury, with 1,120 overall – an 8% increase.
Clr Peter O’Neill, Cabinet member for Communities, said: “Community safety is really important, from tackling antisocial behaviour to making people feel safe in their area.
“When people don’t feel safe it has a negative impact on their health and wellbeing, they don’t want to go out as much... and that can impact on the feel of the community and how people perceive it, it can make it difficult to attract businesses to provide new jobs for people.
“So it’s an important issue for us.”
Kirklees Council has a duty to produce a Community Safety Plan the Scrutiny Panel members had an update on the three-year Plan.
Michael Greene, Head of Safe and Cohesive Communities, said there had been a number of success for the panel in targeting work at specific areas, from an app for students promoting safety to raising awareness of stone and metal theft in rural areas. They also identified burglary hotspots and did more work in the areas at risk.
Police would like to speak to the people pictured in the image gallery below. The people pictured in the images may be witnesses as well as suspects. If you recognise anyone, contact police on 101 quoting the reference number on the image caption.