CRIME IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD: Blackbird Leys

Sgt Rob Axe from the Blackbird Leys Neighbourhood Police team

Sgt Rob Axe from the Blackbird Leys Neighbourhood Police team

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by

CRIME in Blackbird Leys has dropped by nearly a fifth in a year, although it is still one of the worst places for serious violent and sexual crime in the city.

Statistics released by Thames Valley Police show there were 933 recorded crimes in Blackbird Leys from April 2011 to the same month this year.

This was down by 18 per cent from the previous year, when there were 1,136 crimes, and down by 16 per cent from 2009/10.

Sgt Rob Axe, pictured, from the Blackbird Leys Neighbourhood Police team hailed the figures as “brilliant news”.

He said: “I think a lot of it is down to the experience of the police team, I’ve been here three years and we have PCSOs who have been here five.

“That really helps in knowing the community and the offenders. It takes time to know people and you start knowing where the hotspots are.”

The most common estate crimes are criminal damage, possession of cannabis and shoplifting.

There were 181 counts of criminal damage in 2011/12, down from 204 the previous year.

There were also 68 counts of possession of cannabis, down from 100 in 2010/11.

Sgt Axe said: “Like most estates, there is cannabis smoked here and it seems to be a social thing. But we are targeting it.

“It’s an offence, people know it’s an offence and so they smoke at their own peril because we will catch them.

“But the drug problem here is nothing compared to what it once was.

“People live off the memories of the 90s, with the joyriding and the riots, but it is a different place now.”

But the estate is currently has the second highest number of serious sexual offences in Oxford, with only the city centre seeing more.

Since April 2009, there have been 38 serious sexual assaults, with 13 in 2011/12.

There have also been 14 serious violent crimes. More than 13,000 live in Blackbird and Greater Leys.

Sgt Axe said: “That is a number which is very concerning and it is something we will look at.

“One thing I would say is that the number of 13 last year should be put into perspective with the number of people living here and I would want to assure people they are not in any danger on the streets from this.”

Blackbird Leys Parish Council chairman Gordon Roper said: “The estate has changed over the years and a lot of that is thanks to the residents themselves, reporting crime.

“And fair play to the police doing a really sterling job, especially the PCSOs who patrol the estate and talk to residents.

“There is crime here but it doesn’t seem to be any different to what is going on in other towns and estates.”

Blackbird Leys Road resident Roger Williams, 46, said: “I’ve never noticed any crime.

“I was brought up here and haven’t seen any problems.”

 

Comments (5)

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7:18pm Tue 21 Aug 12

Geoff Roberts says...

I think this may be misleading. It doesn't man crime has dropped, just that there's less recorded crime. The reality could be very different, it could be that crime has actually risen!

For example: Cycling on a footpath alongside a public highway is a crime but very few of these crimes is reported. So is running a red light. It could also indicate that the police actually aren't doing so well because when the police fail to deal with crime people tend to stop reporting it because it's "pointless".
I think this may be misleading. It doesn't man crime has dropped, just that there's less recorded crime. The reality could be very different, it could be that crime has actually risen! For example: Cycling on a footpath alongside a public highway is a crime but very few of these crimes is reported. So is running a red light. It could also indicate that the police actually aren't doing so well because when the police fail to deal with crime people tend to stop reporting it because it's "pointless". Geoff Roberts
  • Score: 2

7:27pm Tue 21 Aug 12

Geoff Roberts says...

"It’s an offence, people know it’s an offence and so they smoke at their own peril because we will catch them." - the law

No, they smoke at their own peril because they smoke at their own peril. There's little or no evidence to suggest it's a wider issue. Unless the police are going to start smashing people's doors down for smoking a joint in their own homes then I don't see what can be done or even should be done.

"Like most estates, there is cannabis smoked here and it seems to be a social thing. But we are targeting it."

So the police are now admitting to targeting social behaviour instead of anti-social behaviour?

"But the drug problem here is nothing compared to what it once was."

How do you actually know that? It may be true but you don't know and you're the last person to know because you're a policeman!

"The estate has changed over the years and a lot of that is thanks to the residents themselves, reporting crime."

but if, for example, half the estate smokes dope, do you think they are reporting themselves to the police?!

"There is crime here but it doesn’t seem to be any different to what is going on in other towns and estates."

Again, this is really an unknown, not unless there's some kind of very clever network and plenty of people to analyse the data.

As far as I can see this entire article is misleading and is full of people making statements which are presented as if they are fact when they are not fact.
"It’s an offence, people know it’s an offence and so they smoke at their own peril because we will catch them." - the law No, they smoke at their own peril because they smoke at their own peril. There's little or no evidence to suggest it's a wider issue. Unless the police are going to start smashing people's doors down for smoking a joint in their own homes then I don't see what can be done or even should be done. "Like most estates, there is cannabis smoked here and it seems to be a social thing. But we are targeting it." So the police are now admitting to targeting social behaviour instead of anti-social behaviour? "But the drug problem here is nothing compared to what it once was." How do you actually know that? It may be true but you don't know and you're the last person to know because you're a policeman! "The estate has changed over the years and a lot of that is thanks to the residents themselves, reporting crime." but if, for example, half the estate smokes dope, do you think they are reporting themselves to the police?! "There is crime here but it doesn’t seem to be any different to what is going on in other towns and estates." Again, this is really an unknown, not unless there's some kind of very clever network and plenty of people to analyse the data. As far as I can see this entire article is misleading and is full of people making statements which are presented as if they are fact when they are not fact. Geoff Roberts
  • Score: 1

9:34pm Tue 21 Aug 12

father dowling says...

Our police do a great job, has to be said. Anyone with any concerns better hope THE GREYHOUND STADIUM stays as it is or that'll be another 300 odd households the police have to deal with. ANDREW SMITH MP where are you these days by the way ?!
Our police do a great job, has to be said. Anyone with any concerns better hope THE GREYHOUND STADIUM stays as it is or that'll be another 300 odd households the police have to deal with. ANDREW SMITH MP where are you these days by the way ?! father dowling
  • Score: -1

1:25am Wed 22 Aug 12

Myron Blatz says...

I think the phrase is 'dumbing down' by TVP and the Chair of Blackbird Leys Parish Council, and follows-on a similar response by Chief Inspector Paine. It is all very selective, where a '20% reduction' in one type of crime may only represent one or two crimes having been committed. Nor would TVP (Pice and PCSOs) and City Council (Park Rangers and Community Response Teams) be able to justify the levels of funding, manpower and resources used on Blackbird Leys, without due cause or necessity. However, Blackbird and Greater Leys represent two very large communities where the incidence of crime (of all types and degree) will arguably be greater than smaller communities in Oxford - Blackbird Leys may boast a 'parish council' but with over 12,000 people, it's hardly your typical rural Oxfordshire hamlet .....
I think the phrase is 'dumbing down' by TVP and the Chair of Blackbird Leys Parish Council, and follows-on a similar response by Chief Inspector Paine. It is all very selective, where a '20% reduction' in one type of crime may only represent one or two crimes having been committed. Nor would TVP (Pice and PCSOs) and City Council (Park Rangers and Community Response Teams) be able to justify the levels of funding, manpower and resources used on Blackbird Leys, without due cause or necessity. However, Blackbird and Greater Leys represent two very large communities where the incidence of crime (of all types and degree) will arguably be greater than smaller communities in Oxford - Blackbird Leys may boast a 'parish council' but with over 12,000 people, it's hardly your typical rural Oxfordshire hamlet ..... Myron Blatz
  • Score: -1

12:24am Thu 23 Aug 12

Myron Blatz says...

Apologies for underselling TVP - should have read Police not 'Pice' which my local Indian restaurant tells me was an old 1/64th of a rupee.
Apologies for underselling TVP - should have read Police not 'Pice' which my local Indian restaurant tells me was an old 1/64th of a rupee. Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0

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