Crime and nothingness

As part of the Vote for Policies test, Keevil and Jennings held to type with Keevil supporting the Green Party and Jennings the Liberal Democrat policies on crime.

What does crime mean in Medway and how do those looking to be our elected representatives seek to deal with it?

Medway Council Website

“Medway Council knows that fear of crime prevents many people from doing some of the things which they might do.
This is despite the fact that crime in Medway is actually lower than the England and Wales average
it is clear that for the people of Medway to feel safer crimes such as violence, criminal damage and anti-social behaviour must be dealt with.”

The Councils community safety plan 2013-2016 lists its priorities as
– Tackle drug and alcohol abuse
– Tackle anti-social behaviour and envirocrime
– Reduce reoffending
– Tackle domestic abuse
– Reduce the number of people killed of seriously injured in road traffic collisions.

According the the Kent PPC website, crime in Medway has increased between 2014-2015, as part of an overall increase in Kent.
Anti-Social behaviour has decreased in the same time period, just as there has been an overall reduction in Kent.

According to a study in the Daily Mirror in 2013
Over a six month average of all crimes
the UK average was 6.57 per 100 residents
The Medway average was 5.12  per 100 residents

Supporting the Medway Council statement.

However when violence was considered
the UK average was 1.06 per 100 residents
the Medway average was 1.58 per 100 residents

So whilst overall crime might be lower in Medway, violence, a crime which would would, or the fear of which, would stop people ‘from doing the things which they might do’, a higher then average violent crime rate is part of that.

Violent Crime according to the police is defined as:

Includes offences against the person such as common assaults, Grievous Bodily Harm and sexual offences

According to the Kent Police:
1802 crimes were reported in Medway in Feb 2015
389 were violent
River Ward had the highest crime rate with 271 crimes
Gillingham South had the highest violent crime rate with 45 violent crimes
Luton and Wayfield had the highest percentage of violent crimes as percentage of overall crime at 29%

Also, when you looked at crime over a year
River ward had 52.22% of crimes, 1395 in total, where no further action was taken
Gillingham South had 75.57% of crimes, 1367 on total, where no further action was taken
Luton and Wayfield had 75.50% of crimes, 1014 in total, where no further action was taken

No further action includes:

Unable to prosecute suspect
A suspect has been identified but could not be prosecuted for one of a number of reasons, such as: insufficient evidence; the prosecution time limit having expired; the named suspect being below the age of criminal responsibility; the victim or witness is dead or too ill to give evidence; the victim declining or being unable to support the police investigation further; or the person involved has died.

 Medway Averages

No Further Action = 75.58% 
Local Resolution = 1.44%
Caution = 2.81%
Dealt with in Court = 7.54%

Why does such a large proportion of crime result in no action being taken against offenders? Can it be improved and, if so, how?

“The police and the Crown Prosecution Service have to make an assessment of the evidence available, whether it is witness, forensic or even hearsay. In circumstances where there is insufficient evidence, the decision may be taken to focus resources on those offences which are capable of being charged and prosecuted. There might be a number of reasons why no further action was possible. Some cases are just undetectable. However, cases can be reopened if more evidence becomes available.”

So what do our elected or electable representatives have to say on crime or the causes of  crime?

Medway Conservatives – link
There is no mention of crime.

Medway Labour link
There is no mention of crime.

Medway Liberal Democrats link
There is no mention of policies at all.

Medway UKIP
Doesn’t have a website.

Medway Greens – link
No mention of policies

Medway TUSC – link
No mention of crime

Chatham and Aylesford

Tracey Crouch – link
No mention of crime. Which seems churlish considering the wide variety of campaigns mentioned. But still.

Tristan Osborne – link
No mention of crime

Thomas Quinton, John Gobson, Luke Balnave, Ivor Riddle, Ian Wallace 
No dedicated websites

 Gillingham and Rainham

Rehman Chishti – link
There are campaigns relating to driving related offences

Paul Clark – link
Includes a link to Labour national policy on policing

Jacqui Berry – link
No mention of crime

Neil Williams, Roger Peacock, Mike Walters, Paul Chaplin, Mark Hanson
No dedicated websites.

  Rochester and Strood

Mark Reckless – link
No mention of crime
“A cursory search shows five pages of blog posts related to crime on Mark Reckless’s website:

Kelly Tolhurst – link
There is at least a section. Even if it is restricted to alcohol related anti-social behaviour and a lack of police presence.
Because I’m never satisfied.

Naushabah Khan – link
No mention of crime

Clive Cregory – link
No mention of crime

Prue Bray, Dan Burn
No dedicated site

Crime may be lower in Medway then the national average, but it isn’t low. And other then that fact, I got nothing.


3 Replies to “Crime and nothingness”

  1. For me the most disturbing thing about crime is that the police have stated that they no longer have the resources to investigate burglaries. This is partly down to headcount but also that they no longer have the skills to run forensic teams. This was outsourced to private firms but they cost too much! So all the fingerprinting and DNA expertise is lost to them! Also burglars know that they won’t be arrested leading toore crime. Doesn’t make me feel safe at all….just powerless!!!

  2. Great article, guys. Good catch – this is a very important gap to fill in the political consciousness.

    I left a post regarding burglaries – hope you got it!



Leave a Reply