Anti-social behaviour drops in Leighton Buzzard, but stats reveal rise in crime

Leighton Buzzard news
Leighton Buzzard news

The latest crime figures (Oct-Dec 2017) show that Leighton Buzzard is the best behaved town in the area – although crime has increased from a year ago.

During the period there were 542 crimes, one for every 86.3 residents. The figures for Dunstable were 1:41.5, Houghton Regis 1:49.6 and Luton 1.42.8.

There were also 168 anti-social behaviour incidents, one for every 258.9 residents. The statistics for Dunstable were 1:98.2, Houghton Regis 1:88.7, and Luton 1:126.9.

However, total recorded crime has gone up during Oct-Dec 2017 compared to the same quarter in 2016, from 312 to 341 crimes, including a 85.2% increase in domestic burglary (27 to 50) and a 25.5% increase in vehicle crime (55 to 69).

High demand locations during the three-month period have been Grovebury Service Station, Billington Road, (9 crimes); Billington Road (6); Gibson Drive (4); Lake Street (4); The Lancer, Lake Street (4).

More positively, anti-social behaviour has dropped during Oct-Dec 2017 compared to the same quarter in 2016 from 265 to 155 incidents.

High demand locations were High Street (7); Carnation Close (4); Billington Road (4); Lake Street (4); Stanbridge Road (4).

The figures were presented to this month’s meeting of the town council’s police liaison committee.

Two members of the public from the Sandhills area attended to voice concerns about problems on their estate with groups of young men trying to break into vehicles and houses during the early hours of the morning.

Acting Insp Craig Gurr said the police would look to schedule some patrols in the area.

He also explained that the Leighton Buzzard Community Policing teams operate till 10pm and, after that, response time depends of officer availabilty and call priority.

A local businessmen also attended to voice concerns about the number of break-ins to vehicle, especially trade vans in the early hours of the morning.

There are currently two re-deployable CCTV cameras in Leighton Buzzard – in Vimy Road (installed due to problems with anti-social behaviour, minor criminal damage and dangerous driving in Tesco car park) and Church Street/New Road (installed due to shop fronts being damaged, damage to vehicles and other criminal damage).

Councillors decided it would be a good idea for the camera in Church Street/New Road to be moved to Lake Street due to “issues beyond the visual range of the existing cameras in that area”.

A suggestion was made that a camera be relocated to Sandhills, but a Central Beds Council officer pointed out that positioning cameras in residential area was problematic due to household privacy issues.