Police describe 'calming effect' of Olympics on crime in Bracknell
August 14, 2012
Bracknell's police chief says the London 2012 Olympics have had a ‘calming effect’ on crime in the area.
Officers recorded low levels of crime across the borough, with only a slight increase in burglaries.
Figures show that Bracknell Forest experienced a reduction in all crime of 17 per cent between Sunday, April 1, and Tuesday, July 31.
In total, 1,760 offences were recorded during the period, compared to 2,124 crimes during the same time last year.
Around a billion people worldwide tuned in to watch the opening ceremony two weeks ago and millions have followed Team GB’s progress so far, which, as the Bracknell Forest Standard went to press, tallied 48 medals in total, including 22 golds.
In Bracknell, hundreds of people gathered to watch Bracknell and Wokingham Swimming Club member Andrew Willis compete in the mens 200m Breaststroke Olympic final last week.
Chief inspector Simon Bowden told the Standard: “Everything has quietened down which maybe due to the Olympics.
“Everybody is tuned in while Team GB is doing well – this has a calming effect.”
Although officers are experiencing low levels of crime, there has been a 10 per cent increase in burglaries between Sunday, April 1, and Tuesday with 76 offences committed, compared to 70 last year.
Ch Insp Bowden said: “This is because last year we had one our lowest years for 10 to 20 years.
“We have also caught one particular individual who committed approximately 10 burglaries across the borough.”
During the summer holidays so far, police have dealt with a small spate of fires started deliberately across Bracknell.
Between Wednesday, July 18, and Tuesday there have been five incidents, including piles of rubbish and bin fire, which police put down to the fact that most arsons are committed by youngsters aged 11 to 15.
The same number of reported arsons took place during this period in 2011.
Ch Insp Bowden said: “Deliberate fires are cause for concern, especially following the Swinley Forest fires.
“Although burning a pile of leaves is not technically arson as it is not criminal damage to property, it has the potential to cause huge damage and endanger people’s lives.”
No arrests for arson have been made since the summer holidays began.