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Street briefings see Lancaster city centre crime fall by 22 per cent

John Freeman
A policing operation that involves daily street briefings for officers in Lancaster has seen reports of crime in a city centre fall by 22 per cent.

Officers from Lancaster’s neighbourhood policing team started the operation in May in order to make the city centre a safer and more welcoming place.

The officers hold their team briefings out on the street twice a day so that they are providing a highly visible presence and act as a deterrent to pickpockets, shoplifters and other criminals. Following their briefings they then patrol hot spot areas so that they can target particular problems.

As a result, reports of crime have now fallen by 22 per cent. Incidents of anti-social behaviour have also reduced.

Sergeant David Callan, Lancaster police, said: “We have been working with local retailers and residents to tackle the crimes that have been affecting them. The simple fact that criminals see us out on the streets at the briefings prevents many of them from offending but we are also using a wide range of powers to reduce crime.

“We have been issuing directions to leave, where a person who could potentially cause a problem when they have been drinking alcohol is told to leave the city and if they return within a set time they will be arrested.

"We have also been applying for ASBOs against repeat offenders and working with other agencies to deal with prolific criminals, whose behaviour may be fuelled by drugs or alcohols addictions, to get them the help that they need.”

He added: “We have liaised with the local chamber of commerce so that together we can prevent local businesses falling victim to crime and we are grateful for the support we are receiving. Lancaster is a fantastic place to come for a day out, and is also a great place to live and work, so we want people to feel reassured that we are doing everything we can to keep crime low in the city.”