North Kesteven

Richard Wright: Why there is more work to be done in the fight against crime

This week we’ve learned that North Kesteven is the safest place to live in England and Wales for a fourth year with fewer crimes recorded as a proportion of population.

But while this is good news, it doesn’t mean we’ll be resting on our laurels and taking the result for granted because what we all have to remember is that for every crime there is a victim, and in some cases, the effects of an offence can have a wider impact too. Families, friends and communities can all be affected by one crime.

The figures have shown that during 2016-17 there were 26.1 crimes per 1,000 people in North Kesteven. The most recorded crimes were theft (813) and violence against the person (641), of which both have risen from numbers recorded on the previous year.

It is vital that that we don’t just see ‘victims’ as a statistic and do all that we can to work with our partners in supporting victims of crime, to ensure they are not forgotten.

This is why it’s crucial that the police, our anti-social behaviour team and our community safety partners continue their work in early intervention, addressing issues as they arise.

Prevention works needs to be ongoing with groups, schools, older persons’ networks and licensed premises, as well as the wider community, residents and businesses.

Only then will we ensure that North Kesteven remains a safe place for our residents, businesses, visitors and flourishing communities.

On the subject of communities, it was great to see a number of you at our first Discover NK event, highlighting what the district council does for the people it serves.

We hope you found it useful and that there’s more to what we do than emptying your bins each week.

Did you know, for example, that last year our work meant that 21 empty properties were brought back into use, and that our intervention created 186 jobs and safeguarded a further 298?

We also built 39 homes for our housing stock, with more planned and under way.

If you didn’t get the chance to see us at the Natural World Centre in Whisby then fear not, as we will be at Heckington Show on July 29 and 30 where officers will be able to answer your questions, show you what NKDC does and assist with any queries you may have.

We’ll be with our Tourism Team and there will be plenty of activities going on inside the marquee, including demonstrations from Hill Holt Wood, so make sure you pop in.

We’re also looking to bring the Discover NK event to Sleaford later in the year to make sure that everyone who wants to visit us has the opportunity to do so.

NKDC has a long tradition of listening, responding and respecting the views of residents in shaping bold, resilient and responsive actions and is one of the many reasons for its success as ‘A District of Flourishing Communities.’

However, it’s important that we don’t just see or use ‘communities’ as being a byword for settlements.

NK has a huge number of communities not bound by geographics or demographics, from walking and cycling clubs, the swimmers who meet up for early morning swims and chats in Sleaford, the WI groups, scouts and guides and other youth groups, reading groups, veterans groups in Sleaford and Heckington and the many other groups and clubs which can be found throughout the breadth of this wonderful district, not forgetting the many local places of worship and faith groups.

It’s my belief that North Kesteven benefits from the richness of what is on offer and the work carried out by so many volunteers to provide very rich and vibrant communities which our residents and the council appreciate so much.