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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Our streets are safe, say Carlisle residents

Residents have backed police and spoken of how they feel safe on their streets after a councillor said he believed “a lot of crime goes unreported”.

The News & Star spoke to people in the Carlisle neighbourhoods of Currock and Harraby to see if they had concerns about crime and how the police force worked.

It came after David Morton, a Carlisle city councillor, said he felt there was under-reporting “because there are occasions where people have reported incidents before and no one has turned up or nothing has been done”.

But Mr Morton also said he did not want to detract from “the good work that police are doing”.

He was speaking after a report to the city council included figures from the last financial year showing a rise in burglaries from homes, businesses and non-domestic buildings.

But overall crime in Carlisle is dropping, with 6,847 recorded offences last year compared to 7,463 the previous year.

In the policing patch for Currock and Upperby, there were 72 crimes reported in January, down on 132 in the same month last year.

Most reports were to do with antisocial behaviour, with 28 offences during the month. There were 12 incidents of criminal damage and arson and one burglary.

Pauline Griffiths, 60, of Marina Crescent, Currock, said she was not aware of any major problems with crime in the neighbourhood.

“The odd time you hear of something but I wouldn’t say it’s all the time,” she said. “You get that everywhere.”

Lisa Elliott, 36, of Henderson Road, said: “My car got damaged, it was vandalised in my drive a couple of months ago.

“I phoned the police and they came twice to see me. They were really good.”

Mark Alston, 38, of Harrison Street, said: “I’ve never had any trouble, touch wood. It’s not something I’ve ever observed.

“I grew up round here. There is trouble anywhere but I wouldn’t say I’ve seen any increase.”

Gordon Nicholls, 69, of Millholme Avenue, said: “You might get one or two burglaries but it can get taken out of context. It’s not that bad.”

He added most problems came because “the bairns have got nowhere to go. They’re hanging about”.

In Harraby 104 crimes were reported in January, up on 97 in the same month last year.

Most problems again involved antisocial behaviour, with 52 reports. The crimes also included 16 incidents of shoplifting and two burglaries.

Ken Scholey, 87, of Pennine Way, Harraby, said he thought there was “very little” crime where he lived.

“I’ve lived here now for well over 30 years and where I live I think you can count the crimes down there on the fingers of one hand,” he added.

“I’ve no fears at all really.”

Helen Moody, 46, used to live in Harraby but has since moved to Wigton. She was back on the estate’s Central Avenue and had a different view.

She said she thought the crime levels when she lived in Harraby were “disgusting”. “There were burglaries, drug busts,” she added.

“I wouldn’t bother ringing the police, they’re a waste of time.”

Julia Burgess, 40, of Pennine Way, said: “I think you’ve got to be careful wherever you are but I feel safe. I’ve had no problems.”

Robert Morris, 41, of Springfield Road, said: “It’s quiet where we live. I’d be quite happy to call the police.”

Jessica Riddle, the city councillor responsible for communities, said that overall crime had fallen by over 13 per cent.

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