The crime and disorder survey reveals a significant drop in the
number of respondents who were victims of crime, a fall from almost
a quarter in 2004 to less than 10 per cent last year. The biggest
proportion of respondents (43 per cent) also thought that crime
levels ‘had not really changed in the past three years’.
“This survey reflects the national
picture where the fear of crime is more prevalent than people’s
actual experience of crime,” said Peterborough City Council’s
community safety manager Christine Graham.
“We recognise that even the fear of
crime interferes with the quality of life enjoyed by local people
and we are continually working with the police and other
organisations to improve the safety and feel of the city. We have a
three-year strategy to target areas of greatest concern and close
the gap between perceptions and reality.”
The questionnaire was distributed to
73,500 local homes with copies of Your Peterborough, the city
council’s newspaper for residents in October. A total of 2,578 forms
(3.5 per cent) were returned, compared with 3,054 returned
questionnaires (5 per cent) in 2004.
While 27 per cent of respondents
were ‘very worried’ and 45.3 per cent were ‘fairly worried’ about
having their homes broken into, only 5.9 per cent had actually
suffered an attempted or actual burglary on one occasion while 1.9
had been a victim more than once.
Similarly, 25.6 per cent of
respondents were ‘very worried’ and 35.9 per cent were ‘fairly
worried’ about being mugged and robbed but only 2.3 per cent had
actually been a victim of this crime on one occasion while 0.4 per
cent had been affected more than once. Almost two-thirds (62 per
cent) of victims did not report burglaries to police and only 69 per
cent of mugging victims reported the crime.
Reasons for not reporting crimes to
the police included: Respondents did not think the police would do
anything about it (11.1 per cent); there was no chance of catching
the criminals (8.5 per cent); it was only a minor offence (5 per
cent); they did not think they would be taken seriously (3.5 per
cent); and offenders were too young to be prosecuted (3.3 per cent).
Most respondents felt that, over the
past three years, the overall level of crime had not changed (43.2
per cent), decreased a fair amount (4.3 per cent) or decreased a lot
(0.5 per cent). Just over one-third (33.9 per cent) thought crime
had increased a fair amount and 15.1 per cent thought crime had
increased a lot.
Overall, 61.5 per cent revealed that
no one in their households had been a victim of crime in the six
months prior to the survey, compared with 34.3 per cent who said
they had been a victim.
When asked about other neighbourhood
issues, rubbish and litter were identified as a very big problem by
23.3 per cent and a fairly big problem by 29.6 per cent. Vandalism,
graffiti and deliberate damage to property or vehicles was next
(20.6 per cent and 29.8 per cent, respectively). However, a majority
of respondents felt that the use or dealing drugs; teenagers hanging
around the streets; noisy neighbours; drunk or rowdy behaviour; and
burnt out cars were not big problems.
Councillor Graham Murphy, Cabinet
member for the Environment and Community Safety, said: “These survey
results are very helpful in shaping our policies and action plans
and I am grateful to those residents who completed the
For more information about the
Peterborough Community Safety Partnership’s three-year strategy