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Nightclubs top list of city’s crimes hotspots
Buy this photo » Pc Isaac van den Eshof, right, with Pc Simon Collins and Radoslav Savkov, head of security at Wahoo bar in Hythe Bridge Street and The Junction club in Park End Street
MORE crime is committed in nightclubs than anywhere else in Oxford, according to new statistics that reveal crime hotspots across the city.
The Home Office police.uk website show the locations where crimes are reported across the county.
Compared to figures from the same time last year, the number of offences in the city have seen little change. But improvements to the website mean people in Oxford can now more easily find out what parts of their city are the worst for a range of crimes, from public order and burglary to theft and criminal damage.
The latest data available, for the months of May and June, show nightclubs are the worst places for crime in Oxford after police recorded 160 crimes including drugs and violence.
The website provides data about types of location, such as petrol stations and supermarkets, and specific streets.
City centre road St Michael’s Street comes out as the fifth worst for crime with East Oxford’s Dawson Street coming seventh. Ship Street in the city centre saw 32 crimes, while Bertie Place in New Hinskey saw 23.
Police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld said crime mapping helped the force know where to deploy resources.
Of the Oxford figures, he added: “Most nightclubs behave responsibly but every now and then we have a problem with a particular nightclub. But on the whole they are sorted out very quickly.”
Supermarkets came third on the list with 125 crimes, including possession of weapons and public order crimes.
Green Ridges in Sandhills witnessed 20 crimes, as did Blue Boar Street in the city centre, Cowley Road and Headington Road.
Pether Road in Wood Farm saw 19 crimes including criminal damage and burglary. The street came third for antisocial behaviour after 13 reports in the two months.
Pc Mike Ellis, antisocial behaviour officer for Oxford, said many of the antisocial behaviour reports were related to nightlife.
He said: “With a lot of the addresses mentioned, but not all of them, the number of calls is related to the geography and the night time economy.
“Some people have unrealistic expectations of what life is like living in a big city and expect to have the peace and quiet you have in the country.”
He added: “Where we receive a more than average number of complaints we look into these cases to see what we can do.”
St Michael’s Street came fifth in our crime hotspots list and Pc Ellis said: “Although it looks like a quiet residential street, it’s bang in the middle of nightlife.”
Radoslav Savkov, head of security of Wahoo bar in Hythe Bridge Street and The Junction club in Park End Street, said drug dealers and users caused the most problems, adding: “Certain drugs like cocaine make people over confident.”
He said door staff were now randomly checking more revellers and regularly checking the toilets for drug use.
Pc Isaac van den Eshof, of the city centre police team, said a radio network gave bars and clubs the power to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour as they could immediately reach police and CCTV operators.
He said: “Oxford City Radiolink helps us to share information between the police and Radiolink members, subsequently reducing alcohol related crime and the opportunity to commit crime across the night time economy.”
Pat Kennedy, Oxford City Council board member for crime and community safety, said she was not surprised nightclubs topped the list – despite “good work” by police.
She said: “It is young people drinking too much and getting fighting drunk. Everyone tries to encourage people to behave better but it’s hard to impose that.”
She also said the figures could be skewed by spates of crime or by one-off incidents.
To find out about crime in your street visit police.uk
Operations nightsafe and badge tackle alcohol-linked wrongdoing
Supt Christian Bunt, local area commander for Oxford, said:
“The maps were introduced to ensure there was greater transparency and awareness for the public which is a good thing.
If people are more informed about crime and antisocial behaviour in their area they are more likely to be vigilant and take appropriate security measures.
Crime hotspots are managed through increased deployment of officers into the area to prevent the problems. Our primary aim is always to stop the crime happening. Our neighbourhood policing teams are key to ensuring that we are problem solving these issues and providing high visibility reassurance policing. We also target known offenders in the area where we suspect they may be responsible.
I would expect to see a higher proportion of crimes linked to nightclubs and our further education premises.
We have a very vibrant nigh time economy in Oxford with thousands of revellers coming into Oxford most nights of the week.
This is going to result in a certain amount of alcohol related crime and disorder. We do a great deal of work to tackle this with our partners through operation Nightsafe.
We have also started operation Badge which is a zero tolerance operation to crack down on drunken and disorderly behaviour.
In relation to the education premises, with such a considerable area of the city covered by the universities and other education premises, it is not a surprise that we will see a certain amount of crime linked to them.
However we work very closely with the colleges and the University security who are excellent.
Crime on college premises has fallen significantly over the last few years. We run a number of crime reduction operations with the universities.”
Drugs, thefts and assaults in short road
A short road in St Clements has been revealed as a crime hotspot, with 11 thefts, six violent crimes, four drug crimes, and seven public order crimes taking place in the area.
Dawson Street, which connects St Clements Street and Cowley Road near The Plain, is the seventh worst place for crime, according to our list of reports in May and June.
The only street it fell behind was St Michael’s Street in the city centre.
Graham Jones, Oxford City Council member for St Clements, said the figures surprised him.
He said: “I knew it was a crime hotspot but I was not aware there were more crimes in Dawson Street than Park End Street which is three or four times longer.
“One important factor is people’s paths cross there and late at night when they have got tanked up and they are in the mood for a punch up or they misinterpret what people say they get into fights.
“It’s a short, ill-lit little alleyway and theft will take place in those places.”
But he added: “I know we have a very good neighbourhood police team. I encourage them to keep their eye on that area because whoever the victims are it’s not very nice to have and they deserve better.”
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