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Boston best for crimes solved

Boston is second best in the country for the number of crimes solved, an in-depth five-year survey by the Sunday Times has revealed.

Under the heading "How safe are you" Boston is second in the top five local authority areas in England and Wales for solved crimes at 20.1 per cent compared with a national average of just nine per cent. Only Uttlesford, in Essex, records a better figure at 26.1 per cent.

In the bottom three are South Cambridgeshire at 4.8 per cent, South Bucks with 4.4 per cent and Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire at four per cent.

The main emphasis of the full-page article is the generally low solved crimes rate and falling police numbers, under the heading "Where's the justice? Struggling police solve only 9% of all crime".

But Boston bucks the trend. Solved crimes are ones where offenders have been caught and punished. Categories included were violence and sexual offences, robbery, possession of weapons, drugs, criminal damage and arson,  burglary, vehicle crime, shoplifting and bicycle theft The survey covers a five-year period up to last year.

Cllr Paul Skinner, Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for community safety, said: "This is a serious and comprehensive look at crime by a serious newspaper and shows that the perception of crime in Boston is not matched by the reality. How safe are you, asks the Sunday Times -  very safe in Boston is the answer. We can be confident that the police are getting criminals off our streets."

A recent independent survey commissioned by Lincolnshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has shown that the perception of crime is much higher in Boston borough than other areas of the county. The reality is that actual crime levels are much the same throughout the county. And now the Sunday Times survey shows more crimes are solved here than anywhere else.

In Boston borough 58 per cent of those who took part in the survey were very fearful or anxious about how their lives were affected by fear of crime. This compared with 44 per cent in East Lindsey, 43 per cent in Lincoln, 30 per cent in North Kesteven, 48 per cent in South Holland, 41 per cent in South Kesteven and 40 per cent in West Lindsey.

Residents of Boston borough were most likely (75 per cent) to believe crime has gone up locally, followed by South Holland (68 per cent) with North Kesteven least likely at 41 per cent.

In Boston borough 61 per cent - 27 per cent more residents than any other area - perceived physical assault to be a big problem. But actual experience of physical attack was eight per cent in Boston, 12 per cent in Lincoln, ten per cent in South Holland, eight per cent in South Kesteven. North Kesteven and West Lindsey was six per cent.

Superintendent Phil Vickers, Lincolnshire Police said: "Lincolnshire Police work with the community, Boston Borough Council and other Partners to keep people safe. We live and work in a safe and beautiful part of the Country - Though Crime levels are low, there is often a fear of crime that does not match the reality, sometimes due to the rural isolation, sometimes due to media (and social media) portrayal.

We are committed to ensuring that Crime is reported and recorded ethically and correctly - This means we can then focus our resources on preventing the offences that cause most harm to victims.

The real challenge is to reduce Crime, not just to detect the Crime that is reported. There is nowhere in this County that I would be unhappy for a member of my family to walk at any time of the day - I see the types of incident our Officers attend and am very realistic about the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime in Lincolnshire.

Lincolnshire Police and Partners do a huge amount of unseen work - protecting vulnerable people (young and old), working with offenders to reduce recidivism and applying skills that prevent serious offences - The Detection Rate is one measure, but it only shows a very small part of the story, and does not reflect that unseen work.

I'm pleased to see Boston recognised positively - We are proud to serve and be part of a fantastic rural community - Thank you for your support."