During the Calne Town Council meeting last week, councillors discussed the fact there has been a dramatic rise in crime in Calne from 2017 to 2018. Figures show rises in burglary, vehicle crime, shop lifting and violent crime.
At the meeting Cllr John Boaler raised concerns that the bimonthly Police Reports submitted to the Council, don't contain the information they need to know. Labour Concillors have repeatedly requested for data in order to track crimes locally.
Cllr Boaler told Calne News: "The police say this information is all available from their website and do not want to spend time compiling it for us. Which I find disappointing, both because this is what we have specifically requested of them; and because it is unreasonable to expect all 19 Councillors individually to be doing this.
"I had a suspicion of what the data for 2018 would show, it has turned out to reveal really significant rises in some categories of crime. I think the Police should have brought this to our attention and shared with us their analysis of the figures and how they were or were planning to respond."
At the meeting, Cllr Richard Merrick said the figures were an "eye-opener" and Cllr Robert MacNaughton said the police needed to come to the council to explain the rise in crime.
The figures for Calne show that cases of burglary had almost doubled with 41 in 2017 compared to 78 in 2018. Shoplifing had more than doubled with 53 reports in 2017 and 128 in 2018.
In response, Inspector Mark Luffman, from Wiltshire North Community Policing Team told Calne News: “I am aware of the concerns of some of the members of the town council and believe I have built up a good working relationship with the council over my time with Wiltshire Police.
“With regard to their request for statistics, I have explained to all the local parish and town councils, that I don’t feel it is a valuable use of my officers’ time to compile lengthy reports with facts and figures that are readily available on our website.
“This information is easily available on our website, and I have directed people to the appropriate pages.
“With regards to an increase in crime in Calne, I know this is something which will concern the local community and of course this is something we are trying to address.
“We have recently been successfully targeting prolific shoplifters, resulting in arrests, charges and prison sentences, and we have been working with local businesses to improve crime prevention measures.
“We will also be appointing a police officer into a new Community Co-ordinator post (funded by the agreed increase in the Precept) who will be specifically working in and around Calne to provide a dedicated role, focusing on engaging with our community and building our relations with businesses, residents and partners in the town.”