Written By Julian Lewis-Booth
I write here to try and deliver a calming voice to the numerous posts through multiple groups of what reads like a crime wave in Hazel Grove.
Over this weekend we ended up with online threats of vigilante patrols going out to 'sort out' the area because there are no Police around.
There is some crime in Hazel Grove and whilst I am not happy about it I accept that's a fact of modern life that for now we cannot completely resolve.
I am not writing here to discuss Police funding, I am writing to try and make the real world position clearer and reduce the fear factor that is way too high locally at the moment.
I have spoken to Police officers who were on duty this weekend and whilst I can't go into details of specific calls I can tell you that the Actual happenings compared to some of those reported through FaceBook are a world apart.
There ARE Police Officers around, you don't see them that often because the majority don't walk a Beat any more, I am sad too not to have Bobbies on the beat as much but they are able to deal with many more incidents and issues when using a vehicle rather than on foot.
You also don't see them during the day as much because they are rostered through a 24 hour period. Criminals are very unhelpful and chose to commit their crimes at all times of the day or night and to respond to that Police officers are rostered at all sorts of weird hours.
I have seen this weeks figures, however, these are not for me to publish as I have taken an Officer away from his duties to provide them to me and need to honour the confidence that I have been shown. It's fine for a one off to ask for the hard numbers not fine if I generate a regular expectation for figures and then create a data reporting task for the Police to deliver every week.
Of 8 categories that would cover all the worries expressed via FaceBook such as Burglary, Assault, Vehicle Theft etc. not one of those 8 categories gets into double figures for Hazel Grove, and that's for a week from the 12th to the 18th November.
If you take 8 categories and assume that there are at least 9 reported in every category you come up with a number of 72 for Hazel Grove, in a week. You would overestimating the actual total number of crimes reported in Hazel Grove by more than a factor of two. You would have to cut 72 in half then remove a few more to get the actual figure in the area.
For me to have received the number of calls, texts and emails as I have from people in the area genuinely worried for their families after reading the recent storm of posts on Social Media tells me that there are a significant number of people in the Hazel grove area that are afraid of a crime happening to them or their family. The real picture isn't anything like as bad as Social Media paints it to be, the Police are taking action to deal with crime and often where there are youth issues with support from the Council.
Please remember that we should be proud of the majority of our young people as they negotiate an increasingly complex world with seeming ease and are in the vast majority of cases are polite and generous. There are some parents who should take a little more care with their children than they do their smartphones and some kids who spend too much time lost in Fortnite.
Finally if you do see something or experience something that is wrong then please make sure that you report it to 101 if its not an emergency 999 if it is is. The Livechat service from the GMP website is excellent and a much quicker method of reporting if you are comfortable doing it that way.