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Chief Constable’s Annual Report 2006-2007 is published 9 November 2007

THE SUCCESS of neighbourhood policing on the Isle of Man is one of the highlights of the Chief Constable’s Annual Report 2006-2007, which goes to Tynwald this month.

In his foreword to the document, Chief Constable Mike Culverhouse explains he is extremely proud of the professional achievements of the Isle of Man Constabulary during the year and he pays tribute to all who contributed.

He states 2006-2007

‘will surely be viewed as the year in which the Constabulary re-focused its activities as our structure and our resources were realigned at local level…under the auspices of five new Neighbourhood Policing Teams’. ‘The way the five Neighbourhood Policing Teams have developed during the year actually exceeded my high expectations and is one of the undoubted highlights of a most successful year,’ he explained.

The report shows that in the year ending March 2007:

  • Crime levels in the Isle of Man increased but remain half the United Kingdom’s rate
  • Domestic burglary fell by 22% and is lower than any time in the last decade
  • The detection rate for all offences was 55% - the highest in the British Isles

Home Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle MHK commented:

‘The Chief Constable’s Annual Report shows the Isle of Man remains a very safe place in which to live and to visit. The force has and continues to modernise to meet the strategic aims set by the Department of protecting children and young people; increasing public confidence, satisfaction and reassurance; and reducing crime. ‘A significant development in the force this year is that it responded to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into the Care of Young People by establishing a Public Protection Unit for the Island. That has contributed to the increased productivity of the Constabulary.’

The report explains (page 15) how that increased productivity impacted on the overall crime rate – Neighbourhood Policing Teams were asked to focus on tackling anti-social behaviour and low level nuisance, a drive for extra productivity that produced the desired results.

The report states:

‘Ironically the media reporting of this activity can make the Island appear less safe as significantly higher detection rates inevitably lead to more prosecutions. More court cases lead to more newspaper and radio reporting, which in the longer term can influence people who may take the view that community safety is deteriorating. This is most certainly not the case.
‘The changed approach directly contributed to an increase in recorded crime: more arrests for public order offences …raised crime figures. That is why it can be dangerous and overly simplistic purely to rely on the overall level of recorded crime as the best way of assessing our performance.’

The report also points out (page 7) that a community satisfaction survey carried out in February showed 98% of people feel safe living on the Island and 90% are satisfied with the overall level of service provided by the Police.

The Minister added:

‘We have highlighted here several areas where the outcomes have been positive but the Acting Chief Constable and the Department are aware that there are some issues which need to be addressed. I would encourage members of the public to read the full report to get a balanced picture.’

Mr Culverhouse, who will be retiring at the end of the year, is currently on signed off work. Acting Chief Constable Mike Langdon commented:

‘The report reflects the hard work of our officers and partners in a complex environment and the Constabulary will look to build on that in the future. The first half of this year is showing significant reductions in crime.’

Levels of crime in the Isle of Man from April to the end of October 2007 fell by 17.5%, more than offsetting the 7.3% increase last year.

Copies of the Chief Constable’s Annual Report are available from the Department of Home Affairs, 88 Woodbourne Road, Douglas, and the Tynwald Library. A copy can also be downloaded from the Department’s website at www.gov.im/dha/police.

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