Community safety is important to enable residents of an area to feel comfortable and safe in the area where they live. If people do not feel safe within their area, it will have a detrimental effect throughout the whole of the community, causing it to become unstable. When communities feel safe there are a number of benefits for all including community confidence, increased attractiveness in the area, greater cohesion, improved mental health and more chance of personal and community progression towards improved quality of life.
There are complex and often indirect links between crime, the fear of crime, the environment, and health and well-being at both individual and population levels. However, overall crime and fear of crime appear to be linked to health and well-being mainly as aspects of socioeconomic disadvantage.
The impact of crime on health and wellbeing has been increasingly recognised in recent years, from the making of the NHS as a responsible authority for crime and disorder partnerships in 2003 to the Marmot Review of Health Inequalities in England in 2010.
Evidence suggests that areas of high crime usually have significant levels of neighbourhood stress, fear of crime and mental ill-health, whilst lower crime and reduced fear of crime is associated with better mental health and other health outcomes including levels of alcohol related harm and higher physical activity.
Between April 2013 and March 2014, there were 5,303 victims of crime in Knowsley
The majority of total crime victims for both sexes (3,512 / 66.3%) are aged between 26 and 59 years – with females age 26-40 comprising the majority and males 41-59 comprising the majority.
The Safer Knowsley Partnership undertakes monitoring of hate incidents and crimes reported directly to the Local Authority and to other partners, in particular Merseyside Police. The number of cases reported has risen year on year since 2006. Latest available data shows that in 2013/14 there were 271 recorded incidents compared to 262 in 2012/13 (increase of 3%) with a repeat incident rate of 25%. About 92% are reported by the police with the remaining 8% from Speak Up Services, the Knowsley alternative reporting option. Feedback from residents has indicated favouring a local option, so being able to speak to somebody who knows their area.
Most recent evidence suggests calls to the dedicated ASB unit have seen an annual increase of approximately 22%. Analysis shows calls relate to a variety of issues including neighbour disputes, football on highways, criminal offences (assaults, drug dealing, threats, harassments etc) to general ASB relating to groups congregating.
The full JSNA report can be accessed here: Crime JSNA