Mar 16 2011 By Camilla Goodman
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CHILTERN'S top policeman is reassuring residents after a home office crime mapping website placed Chesham town centre as one of the highest crime areas in England and Wales.
Area Commander for the Chilterns Chief Inspector Ian Hunter is urging people not to worry about the figures on website Police.uk, which he explains has placed the town centre in the 'high' crime category for two consecutive months due to the small resident population.
He explained that the calculation of the crime rate is worked out by the number of crimes per 1,000 people in that area, with the last census showing the population at 4,600 for the town centre.
According to Police.uk, there were 41 reports of crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) in the town centre in January and 57 in December.
Ch Insp Hunter said: "Figures for Chesham town centre show it is in a high category of crime, this is because of the relatively low resident population. Chesham town centre is far more than just a residential area in comparison to the other Chesham Neighbourhoods.
"It could be argued that town centres, due to retail and night time economies, will often attract higher reports of crime and anti-social behaviour than some residential areas.
"Chesham town centre has only had just over one crime a day throughout January and I hope residents agree that this is not excessive levels of crime. Most town centres would be pleased to only have one crime per day."
He also pointed out that other areas in Chesham, which have a higher resident population, placed either in the 'below average' or 'average' categories.
Chesham West has been rated as 'average' with 42 reports of crime and ASB in January and Chesham East and Chesham Rural both placed 'below average' with 35 and 20 reports of crime and ASB respectively.
Ch Insp Hunter added that they are dedicated to driving down crime levels and have almost 900 less victims of crime than the same period last year.
He said: "The community safety partnership wish to reinforce the message that crime across the Chilterns has fallen dramatically over the last 12 months with nearly 900 less victims of crime compared with the year before."