‘We have good news but people do not believe us’ police chief tells councillors

Boston Community Police Inspector Andy Morrice. EMN-160725-143542001 EMN-160725-143542001 EMN-160725-143542001
Boston Community Police Inspector Andy Morrice. EMN-160725-143542001 EMN-160725-143542001 EMN-160725-143542001

“We keep pushing the message out but people for some reason don’t want to believe us,” a police chief has told councillors.

Community Beat Insp Andy Morrice was giving a report to Boston Town Area Committee on Wednesday.

Insp Morrice reconfirmed to councillors that reports of street drinking had halved year-on-year.

He said that reports of anti-social behaviour in the Central Park area had dropped by 30 per cent since last year - from 101 between January 1 and October 25, 2016, to 70 between the same period this year.

He said this was despite a rise in the number of calls to the 101 number in Lincolnshire.

Coun Paul Gleeson told the committee that a BBC Crime calculator for his area showed that where he lived, his risk of violent crime was a fifth of the national average, his risk of robbery was also a fifth and theft was a third.

He asked: “In all the measures, we are seriously below the national average. How can we get that message out there?”

Insp Morrice said: “We keep pushing that message out there but people, for some reason, do not believe us.”

He blamed part of the problem on ‘sexy headlines’ in the national press - citing the example of Boston reportedly being the murder capital - something authority figures in the town have denied, with MP Matt Warman calling the reports ‘statistically illiterate’.

Insp Morrice said: “Boston Murder Capital of the UK? Absolutely rubbish, it never was, isn’t and actually when I asked the paper to send the figures not only were we not the murder capital of the UK we weren’t even in the top 100.

“Lincolnshire is one of the safest counties in the country, we have no doubt about that.”

He later thanked The Boston Standard for reporting on the latest news about the Community Alcohol Partnership (October 25, page 11).

Mr Morrice also answered queries over the 101 number, where councillors raised concerns that the 15p charge might put people off calling.

CounStephen Raven said the charge, which might not affect those on contracts could impact on those with pay as you go tarriffs - particularly the elderly who may use such methods to save money.

Coun Gleeson confirmed it was a one-off charge of 15p, not paid per minute.

He said police were working to deal with calls, and acknowledged there were concerns over police response.

Insp Morrice said there was still a rise in the people using the 101 service but said there were also a number of alternatives, including reporting directly to the police station, reporting online and, in emergency cases, or as a last resort, calling 999.