Police chiefs have moved to reassure residents that Boston is a safe place and crime is falling despite two alleged violent acts in the space of a week.
Chief Inspector Paul Timmins and Superintendent Steven Taylor told The Standard that crime, in particular violent crime, has reduced over the last five years.
The message comes as a woman was charged with causing grievous bodily harm after a man was found with a stab wound in Boston’s West Street on Saturday.
This follows a man being found with gunshot wounds last Saturday. Two men were charged with GBH and false imprisonment in relation to this incident. One of those was also charged with possession of a firearm.
Mr Taylor said the most recent alleged incident had ‘taken place in one of the most prominent locations in Boston town centre’.
He added: “It’s a very visible incident and potentially raises the debate in relation to issues of violence.”
Mr Timmins said figures show overall crime has currently reduced by 23 per cent when compared to the past ‘four or five years’. He also pointed to the new Public Spaces Protection Order, aiming to stop street drinking, which had seen 200 people ‘challenged’ and/or taken through the process since January.
Mr Timmins said: “Personally, I think anyone can walk through Boston and I’ve been here four years now.
“The statistics would suggest that with violent crime dropping year-on-year in the Boston area, it’s becoming a safer place to live and work. What we want to do is get to the focus of where there are issues of any individual, no matter where they’re from, and make sure those individuals are held accountable for those offences committed.”
Mr Timmins also responded to comments on social media regarding the nationalities of those allegedly involved and the perceived links between migration and and an increase in crime.
He reiterated the alleged incidents were separate and involved a ‘specific set of circumstances’.
He said: “We recognise the reality of crime and perception of crime can be two different things.
“Boston is a diverse community, one that’s changed significantly in the last 10-15 years so we do recognise there is a perception there may be a disproportionate number of people from migrant backgrounds that may be involved in crime.”
He said, however, there was a ‘significant minority ‘of people who would pick up on any hint of discord in Boston and ‘try to exploit that’.
He said: “We know that in Boston there’s a vocal minority who do take every chance to look at divisions within our communities.
“But what we have also seen over the last four or five years is that other people have embraced the differences and diversity.”
He reiterated that a lot of work had gone in to breaking down barriers between communities including partnership work between the police, the borough council and housing associations among other communities.
He added: “I think we just need to celebrate the differences that each community has, it’s a diverse community in Boston, it’s a 21st century community.”
He urged any witnesses or victims of crime to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 if they felt unable to speak to police.
Constituency MP Matt Warman said he had contacted the Home Secretary following the latests incidents in the town.
He described them as ‘exteremely concerning’ and said he had also spoken to the Chief Constable.
○ Above is a full eight-minute video with Mr Timmins.