‘Stevenage is one of the safest places to go out’ says police inspector

A POLICE inspector has said he believes Stevenage “is one of the safest places to go out”.

Insp Simon Tabert from the Stevenage Safer Neighbourhood Team made the admission while addressing Stevenage Borough Council’s Safer and Stronger Communities Development and Scrutiny Committee last night (Thursday).

A report into the levels of alcohol-related offences in the town between June 2009 and May 2012 revealed crime has decreased year-on-year.

“I would say this is one of the safest places to go out but that’s purely from my own experience. I would say it’s now safer to go out in Stevenage than it is in Hitchin, Letchworth or Baldock. I think the premises are run better (than in the past) and the professionalism of their door staff is better now.”

Cllr Robin Parker, leader of the Stevenage Liberal Democrats, said: “The crime levels are going down but it’s fear of crime that’s the problem. People will be reassured if they have a presence on the street.”

Councillors praised the roles of taxi marshals, who designate cabs for party-goers at busy ranks, as well as Stevenage Street Pastors, a group formed through Christian churches in the town who offer support to the vulnerable.

Cllr Vickie Warwick said: “I think the taxi marshals have made a massive difference. We used to get a lot of people descending on the taxi ranks at the same time and all wanting to get home first. The people marshalling the taxi ranks calm people down.”

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Alcohol-related crime continues to be most prevalent on Friday and Saturday nights, although Insp Tabert said he had noticed an increase in incidents on Thursday evenings.

Areas with the highest number of crimes in the past three years were Stevenage Leisure Park, the High Street in the Old Town and Lytton Way, although a high percentage of the latter were due to alcohol driving offences recorded at Stevenage Police Station.

Insp Tabert added: “Since the closure of Liquid and Envy (in September) there’s been a shift in clientele from Stevenage Leisure Park to the Old Town. The Old Town is now the area we focus on.”