by Ray George

Following the formal business at the AGM of the Southampton Federation of Residents’ Associations on 30th October, Mr Roger Honey, City Safety Manager, gave a presentation. He compared the actual crime figures in Southampton with the results of the Fear of Crime Survey in which 2500 families had been sent questionnaires and 600 had replied. Surprisingly the top fear was fraudulent use of credit or debit cards but this was closely followed by burglary and car crime. Half said they felt fairly or very unsafe going out at night and 31% never visited the town centre at night. He thought the solution was to have more and varied activities in the city centre so there were more people about. Contrary to the perception of many that there had been a big increase in crime recently, the figures showed only a very slight increase in the last two years and a slight fall this year. The burglary rate was one of the lowest in the country for a town of this size. The 40% increase in street robbery over the 3 years 1997 to 1999 looked very bad but this was due to a small group of young people who had been caught.

Crime figures varied quite a lot over the City. Swaythling/Hampton Park had an 800 reported- crimes increase from 1997 to 99, although there was a slight drop from 1999 to 2000. He said he had not intended to appear complacent, the total cost of crime in the City was estimated to be £209 million!

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