In this month’s column I would like to refer to a couple of story’s that have featured in this paper over the last few weeks.

The first claimed that Kidderminster was becoming a lawless town and to support this gave examples of just two incidents. I would like to give some facts that should provide you with some reassurance. Reported crime in Kidderminster is down by over 20% compared to last year which includes reductions in burglary, violent crime and vehicle related crime. Criminal damage reports are down over 30%.

Despite these encouraging figures, we are not complacent which is evidenced by the recent launch of Operation Citadel to further challenge burglary offences. The police and our partners have worked very hard over the years to deal with this crime and we will continue to do so.

I do agree with the request made in that feature that all crime should be reported. Clearly, we cannot deal with matters if we don’t know about them!

You may have also seen a recent story about Street Pastors.

Firstly, I would like to thank these public minded volunteers from local Christian churches for giving up their time with a view to helping others.

Street Pastors provide a presence on the streets during Friday night and into the early hours of Saturday morning. They are not there to preach to people but to provide a friendly face to anyone that may need some assistance. While fully supported by the local police the Street Pastors are completely independent of the police and do not work for us. People can speak to them in complete confidence.

All Street Pastors have been trained and the local scheme is affiliated to and supported by the Ascension Trust, a national organisation. Experience elsewhere shows that the presence of Street Pastors can make a real difference and I wish them well.