20 November 2018
Hazel Grove Crime v FaceBook
The article I wrote yesterday was to try and emphasise the real position of crime in Hazel Grove v the picture painted of it on Facebook. I wanted to try and redress the balance because whether you believe me or not the SK7 Watch Facebook Group and others are making people more afraid than they need to be.
The words writen on FaceBook, good intentioned or not have an effect on others, even my own words have been magnified and distorted to meet others needs and aims.
I don't believe that any crime is 'acceptable' it is and has been a local issue in Hazel Grove for years, fights outside the Boo, fights outside the Stop Inn, Youths at the Station, ASB at MacDonalds and these are just those examples that immediately jumps to mind.
I don't excuse Crime locally and I want my Kids to be safe and able to enjoy nights out in the Grove as much as I did and everyone else does. I have spent time teaching my kids how to avoid trouble on a night out, from my own experience more than anything else.
I can't change Government or National Police policy any more than anyone else, I write to my MP and vote in the General Election to try and chose the best people to run the Country. For the record I have asked William Wragg to demand more Police funds specifically tied to increasing Front Line Officer numbers.
Locally though I seek to highlight hotspot issues in my regular conversations with Hazel Grove police, I pass on local intelligence that comes to me, I emphasise the concern that local residents highlight to me, I ask for attention to be given to areas or issues and I find out the local successes and sometimes failures where we have not been successful, I also work with Council Officers to make sure that we get the best resources to assist with influencing local behaviour where they are available to us.
What I don't advocate in any way is taking action as 'concerned local residents' you do not then have the law on your side, the opportunity to target the wrong group of completely law abiding youngsters is significant. Also the chance of running into the 'wrong' kind of individuals who are better prepared for trouble than you is not worth the risk.
I don't seek in any way to underestimate that there are incidents that are worrying and cause for significant concern, or that residents have suffered threats, assaults, burglary and theft. Its wrong and I wish I was more confident that the perpetrators were always caught and punished.
I do see what the Police do with their meagre current resources, I see the care they take and the time they spend building the intelligence and case then act. I see the positive actions that they have taken and the criminals they have arrested and charged. There have been successes and teams of burglars, car thieves, chop shops and youths have been arrested and put through the Criminal Justice system.
There is much effort made to not criminalise some of the young because it will affect the rest of their lives, yes they get chances at times that they maybe from a different perspective they shouldn't but until we are sure that an individual has chosen a path from which they cannot be diverted its an effort that in my opinion is worth making.
Whilst there are positive steps taken and criminals arrested, there are always others that step in to fill the vacated space, Crime and criminals change and the Police have to react to an ever changing picture. The arrests made through the year have at times lead me to believe that we have 'fixed' a problem only to have it reappear with a new or different group or in a different area. Its frustrating but doesn't mean we give up, we carry on and react again and must keep doing so, but do it the 'right' way, through those authorised by our society to act.
I do read these groups, I do get as upset as many of you do when I read some of the stories, I do act where I can within the limited powers of a local Councillor and I do go away and try to obtain the whole picture of a reported incident, unfortunately often I cannot share those further details here but I do care and it matters to me as much as it does you. I choose to do this because it is the right thing to do.