|Police Cut Criminal Damage in Wigan and Leigh
A police crackdown on criminal damage has significantly reduced the number of incidents across Wigan and Leigh.
There were 125 fewer offences between 3 September and 30 September 2007 compared with figures for 2006 – a reduction of nearly 25 per cent.
Police believe that high-visibility patrols in hotspots and publicising the penalties for committing criminal damage, no matter how minor, has helped to deter offenders.
Superintendent Shaun Currie of Wigan Police said: “Criminal damage now accounts for around a third of all recorded crime in Wigan and Leigh, and makes neighbourhoods appear unsightly or neglected.
“When residents continually see graffiti, broken windows or damaged fences around their neighbourhood, it can affect their quality of life.
“The significant reduction we’ve seen shows the positive impact regular patrols can have. I also believe it’s important to keep getting the message out to potential offenders that if they commit criminal damage, they face on-the-spot fines of £80 or perhaps even a prison sentence and a criminal record.”
Councillor Keith Cunliffe, Wigan Council’s Neighbourhoods Champion, added: “Criminal damage is a nuisance to the majority of the law abiding public and a drain on resources for all agencies. We hope that people will think twice before committing mindless vandalism, as if they’re caught it could jeopardise their prospects in life.”
Police are urging people to report any criminal damage to Neighbourhood Policing Teams at Hindley (0161 856 7436), Leigh (0161 856 7225) or Atherton (0161 856 7319), or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.