“Leighton-Linslade is the safest place to live in Beds,” the town’s newly-based Sergeant claimed when he announced its crime rate is the second best since 2005.
The figures were revealed by Sgt Andy Rivers at the town council’s police liaison sub-committee meeting last week.
It was there that Sgt Rivers disclosed that for every 1,000 people living in Dunstable, 60 will be a victim of crime, while in Leighton-Linslade the number is just over half, at just 34 per 1,000.
And there was more good news for the town as councillors were told the average number of crimes reported each month, which stands at 134 in the current financial year of 2013/14, is just second to the fewest crimes on average recorded since 2005/06.
That’s only beaten by last year’s 119 per month, in comparison to the highest number of crimes in 2006/07 which reached 203 per month on average.
Reacting to the numbers, chairman of the meeting, Councillor Ray Berry, thanked Mr Rivers and said: “We have never seen figures put to us in that way and it is actually very reassuring. This gives us a picture we’ve never seen before.
“Back in February last year we were told that what we had was a blip, but by August we knew it had definitely became a trend, yet we were still being told, particularly by the PCC, that it was still a blip and we didn’t need to worry.
“Give us the figures in this form like you have, which is very good indeed, then we might have understood what it was.”
While councillors thanked Sgt Rivers for his research and ability to present the “excellent” figures, Leighton-Linslade Mayor, Councillor Amanda Dodwell, said that although it was good news,“it doesn’t mean there is headroom to allow crime to go up”.
Councillor Dodwell said: “Whilst it is extremely encouraging to see that long term trends show a very significant drop in crime in Leighton-Linslade over recent years, the data does show an upward turn throughout 2012-13.
“It may just be coincidence that this is since the changes to policing arrangements were introduced in October 2012, but the fact that there was an improvement in crime rates during autumn 2013, which coincides with the period when Sgt Rivers and an enlarged team of PCSOs were allocated to the town, suggests that there is a direct link between police presence in the town and crime rates.”