Crime and the Fear of Crime JSNA | Boltons Health Matters
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Crime and the Fear of Crime JSNA


This is the JSNA chapter on crime and the fear of crime. Theme chapters summarise who is at risk and why, the level of need in the population, service provision and use, unmet needs, the evidence base, highlight the key issues and gaps, and provides recommendations for commissioners.


The structure of this chapter is based around the main performance targets that the Local Authority has in relation to crime and disorder. These are embedded within the Local Area Agreement (LAA) and across the whole Be Safe partnership. As the main focus of the JSNA is health related the analysis has been deliberately focused around crime and disorder issues that have a positive link with health and well being. Previous versions of the JSNA have already highlighted the link between fear of crime and health and wellbeing and so this will not be repeated here.

The levels of serious acquisitive crime are strongly linked to drug misuse and dependency which are covered in detail in a separate chapter of the JSNA. Violent crime and domestic violence have a strong proven links with alcohol misuse which is also covered in detail in a separate chapter of the JSNA. There is a positive direct correlation between alcohol and drug misuse and the levels of crime within the borough. Effective treatment and strong regulatory powers targeted at point of sale will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the levels of crime within the borough.

This linked to education and awareness campaigns around alcohol and drug misuses will also have a wider impact across all the theme areas of the JSNA.

The LAA has two main aims, to ensure economic prosperity and to narrow the gap between the most and least well off. Together, these aims demonstrate Bolton's ambition to seize the current opportunities for growth and investment, whilst ensuring that local people benefit by reducing inequalities that currently exist.

There is an obvious and distinct link between the JSNA and the overarching themes within the LAA. The JSNA's remit is to provide a framework and evidence base with which strategic commissioning decisions can be made across partnerships. In term of the Community Safety focus the following text draws strongly from the Strategic Threat Assessment and the priorities set out in the 09/10 delivery plan.

Serious Acquisitive Crime

Acquisitive Crime is defined as offences where the offender derives material gain from the crime. 'Acquisitive Crime' is strongly connected with substance misuse. Many illicit drug users not receiving treatment for their addiction commit acquisitive crime to fund their chaotic drug use. The components of serious acquisitive crime are as follows

  • Domestic burglary
  • Robbery
  • Theft from vehicle crime
  • Theft of motor vehicles

Serious acquisitive crime, apart from criminal damage, represents the largest volume of reported crime within Bolton and it is concentrated in the core central wards. The LAA theme of narrowing the gap between the highest and lowest crime areas is a central theme for the Be Safe partnership.

Graph 1 below displays the current serious acquisitive crime rate within the borough from April 2009 to March 2010. There has been a 42% decrease in the reported serious acquisitive crimes between April 2009 and Feb 2009. This also represents a 62% fall in the levels of this crime type from the high of over 700 offences recorded in July 2008

The Bolton partnership have pursued a reduction strategy around serious acquisitive crime strongly focused around domestic burglary, The burglary task force has been very proactive in terms of targeted known offenders. This has also been coupled with the introduction of an Integrated Offender Management under Spotlight banner which explicitly targets serious acquisitive crime offenders. This joint approach to domestic burglary has helped to significantly reduce domestic burglary to some of the lowest levels we have seen in the borough.

User Satisfaction

According to the most recent Force Performance Bulletin for February 2010, the percentage of users that are satisfied with the overall service provided by the police in Bolton currently stands at 80%, against a Force target of 84%. Satisfaction across the Force as a whole also currently stands at 80%.

This measure of satisfaction represents a decrease of 3.3% from the previous quarter's score of 83.3%. Levels of satisfaction across the last 5 quarters display a downward trend both in Bolton and in GMP generally.

The latest results from GMP's Neighbourhood Surveys (Quarter 3) show significant improvements from the previous quarter, across the main performance measurements.

75.9% of the public in Bolton thought that the police in their area were doing a good job. Only 9.4% perceived a high level of anti-social behaviour in their local area, while 25.9% perceived drug use or drug dealing to be a problem. 75.3% of people agreed that the police were dealing with anti-social behaviour and crime issues that matter in their area.

As the methodology of this survey has changed from a postal process to face-to-face interviews, comparisons between these results and previous scores are unreliable.

Violent Crime

The table below displays the main components of serious violent crime over the last three years for Bolton.

Bolton has seen a 28% reduction in violent crime since 2007, however there has been a 50% increase in serious wounding in the same period.

Night Time Economy

The number of violent crimes occurring in public houses (168) or nightclubs (91) are lower than expected however the number of offences occurring within 100m of a public house, bar, inn or nightclub are shown in the table below.

The proportion of all violent offences in Bolton that occur within 100m of a pub, bar, inn or nightclub has risen to 20% of the total number of violent crime offences (compared to 7% with pub or nightclub specified as crime location). This suggests that the influence of licensed premises upon violent crime is underestimated when looking solely at the recorded location of an offence.

Young People

The number of serious violent crimes involving young people has been decreasing in Bolton over the last 3 years. The number of offences and types of offences are listed in the table below with the percentage of the overall total violent crime for each year.

It can be seen that violent crimes linked to young people are not only decreasing in line with total numbers of violent crime but the proportion of violent crime committed by young people has also fallen over the last three years.

Knife Crime

The figures for serious knife crime over the last four years are shown in the table below:

There was a drop of 19 offences from 2008 to 2009 however the decrease is only 11 when compared to 2007.

Serious Sexual Violence

There were 168 serious sexual violence offences in Bolton in 2009.

Hate Crime

In 2009 there were 274 hate crimes in Bolton. The types of offences are listed in the table below:

Violent Crime and Alcohol

The numbers of violent crimes with the alcohol influence marker over the last three years are shown in the table below:

These offences follow a strong time pattern with the vast majority occurring in the night times of Friday and Saturday.

Recommendations for Commissioning

Raise awareness of the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption and acceptable behaviour via the development of a targeted media campaign to address alcohol related disorder.

Promote good management practices amongst licensees by identifying premises where a review of the statement of intent agreements are necessary (including proactively targeting premises around drug use enforcement).

Facilitate the dispersal of visitors from the town centre at weekend evenings by the development of a taxi marshal scheme in Bolton town centre.

Target early interventions to families and children by the enhancement of after school patrols on Friday evenings. Neighbourhood teams to consider inclusion of schools in their patrol plans.

Closer working with schools to manage low level violent incidents by launching a protocol for schools around dealing with low level violence 'in house' (ensure feedback intelligence to the partnership).

Increase Be Safe's knowledge of local efforts around the Prevent Agenda by the development of briefings for partners around local work to progress preventing violent extremism agenda.

Address risk for future escalation of Muslim gangs as a developing culture by developing a briefing/ risk assessment tool for youth workers, street based teams and front line staff working with young people around key signs to look out for, and mechanisms to feed intelligence into partnership.

Develop local knife crime programme and educate young people about the dangers of carrying weapons. Consider targeted use of the Home Office guide on 'How to talk to your child about knives'.

Ensure robust mechanisms to identify vulnerable young people at risk of sexual exploitation, particularly missing from home, coupled with a review of the risk assessment tools being developed for Bolton, to avoid a duplication of work.

Develop protocol around the use of civil enforcement to tackle sexual exploitation in conjunction with a recognition and responsibility strategy, and develop training tool for use with those who work closely with 'at risk' groups.

Undertake a scoping exercise/research into honour based crimes - what are the issues identified and what are the precursors for Bolton to look out for, and what can be put into place now (prevention)?

Examine the possible development of a risk assessment tool around honour based violence for use by schools and disseminate any national guidance around Honour Based Violence (early warning signs).

Targeted awareness raising campaign in communities to raise awareness of hate incidents and Bolton's reporting mechanisms.

Domestic Violence

The Bolton Domestic Violence (DV) (2004-2009) Strategy adopted a very broad definition of DV that included "any incidents of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional)". The analysis below shows that male (current or ex) partners are still the most likely perpetrators of DV but there are incidents of DV that occur across different family members and appropriate services need to be in place to address the needs of all perpetrators and victims. DV is not just defined as violent acts and can occur over sustained periods of time and these themes will be explored below.

Key Issues and Gaps

General DV Trends

  • DV incidents have increased whilst crimes with a DV marker have decreased during the past 3 years.
  • Great Lever had the highest number of DV incidents and crimes but Tonge Moor had the greatest rate of both DV crimes and incidents per 1,000 households.
  • Areas of concern regarding DV crime and incident rates per 1,000 households included Harper Green, New Bury, Moses Gate, and Breightmet North.

DV Offenders

  • The most common type of offender was a male ex-partner.
  • The proportion of female offenders of DV marked crimes has been steadily decreasing.
  • In contrast to male perpetrators, female offenders were more likely to target their current male partners than male ex-partners during DV incidents.
  • Men are more likely to be repeat DV offenders.
  • Male ex-partners being released from prison were identified as a threat. The Prisoner Identification Notification System should be used to allow closer monitoring of offender releases.
  • The number of repeat offenders has increased as a proportion of the total number of offenders of DV marked crimes across the last four years, rising to 29.3% in 2008/09.
  • The incident data revealed that 75 of the DV offenders were also victims over a 12 month period.

DV and Weapons

  • The most common type of object used as a weapon was a knife.
  • 36.6% of offenders using a knife during a DV marked crime were female.

DV and Alcohol

  • Incidents involving current male partners more frequently involved violence and alcohol or drugs than was the case with male ex-partners.
  • Incidents with male partners were more likely to involve children as witnesses or secondary victims than other types of incidents.
  • 60.1% of all DV incidents where a female offender abused a current male partner involved alcohol.
  • 19.5% of DV incidents involve children or grandchildren as the perpetrators and there are a relatively high proportion of these offenders with substance misuse or mental health problems.
  • Alcohol use and knives were found to be real issues where the offender was the son of the victim.

DV Victims

  • Relevant support services need to be in place for BME and non-British individuals experiencing DV.
  • There are a number of problems in accurately identifying repeat victims of DV which leads to gaps in the profile of these victims.

DV and Test on Arrest

  • DV offenders are more likely to test positive for cocaine and this likelihood has increased during the past year.
  • The number of positive test from DV offenders increased slightly from 154 positive tests in 2006 to 161 in 2008 (4.5% increase)
  • 58.6% (n=689) of the test results from DV offenders were negative compared to 62.7% of all the ToA results.
  • There has been an increase in the number of DV offenders testing positive for cocaine but a slight decrease in the levels of opiates positive test

Intergrated Domestic Abuse Programme

  • In 2006, 68 individuals started on the IDAP programme compared to 24 in 2007 and 32 in 2008.
  • 47.7% of the IDAP programmes were completed successfully
Recommendations for Commissioning

The document highlights a number of areas of concern regarding DV incidents and crimes across Bolton. There are a number of strong processes in place to address the needs of DV victims and offenders but there are a number of different types of DV offenders identified in the document that fall outside the adult male perpetrator profile and appropriate services and interventions need to be in place to address their needs. Many of the DV incidents and crimes are linked to substance misuse and a smaller proportion to mental health issues but other factors such as financial dependency, support dependency, child access (with ex partners) can also be linked to DV.


The recommendations below are based on information form the analysis but additional actions should be generated by the Domestic Violence Forum by considering the information presented above. The recommendations below are mainly based around the work of community safety:

  • Use the Prisoner Identification Notification System (PINS) to identify offenders being released who are at risk of committing DV.
  • DV offenders released from Prison should be managed through the FUSE (a multi agencies project targeting prolific offenders) project as should other suitable DV offenders living in the community. Appropriate training will have to be supplied to FUSE offender managers working with DV clients.
  • Review whether DV services are able to meet the needs of young people who commit DV.
  • Ensure that parents/grandparents who are experiencing problems with DV from their children/grandchildren are signposted to appropriate services.
  • The deprived neighbourhoods adjacent to the town centre contained the majority of addresses of young DV offenders and appropriate youth provision should be targeted in these areas. Many of the young offenders were using alcohol or drugs and any intervention should aim to address these issues.
  • Around a third of DV incidents occur at local authority properties and the Partnership Business Group identifies repeats over a monthly period in the local authority properties but an analysis of longer term trends needs to be undertaken and supplied to the relevant housing providers.
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