Horncastle’s senior police officer has dismissed fears that budget cuts will lead to an increase in offences and backed the force to continue to drive down crime in the area.
Chief Inspector Jim Tyner praised officers for their on-going efforts in Horncastle, Conginsby and Woodhall Spa.
He said police would continue to target criminals and pledged response officers would be based locally to respond to 999 calls.
However, Ch Insp Tyner admitted the nature of policing was changing and officers were increasingly reliant on social media and community engagement sessions to deal with any concerns.
He confirmed PCSOs had an increasingly important role to play in policing, particularly in rural areas like the Wolds.
He said: “We are blessed that Horncastle is a low crime area and that’s due to a lot of hard work done by our officers.
“In the current financial year, we’ve had 11 burglaries in Horncastle.
“While that is a slight increase on last year, it is still very low compared with other places.
“There are areas of concern but I can assure you that crime overall is down across the board.
“That doesn’t mean we can relax.
“Everyone is aware of the financial issues facing all forces.
“However, we are absolutely committed to community policing and we will continue to do everything we can to drive down crime.”
Ch Insp Tyner admitted that in many cases, the public’s fear of crime is worse than the actual threat.
He added: “People are impacted by that the see on TV and what they see when they open their front door.
“If what they see is litter or speeding or street drinkers then there is rightfully an expectation that we will do something to deal with those things - and we will.”
Ch Insp Tyner said officers would continue to patrol communities but added pop-in sessions like ‘Spill The Beans’ in a town centre coffee shop - and the use of Twitter - were increasingly important weapons in the fight against crime.
He added: “Tell us your concerns. Tell us about the people who are committing crime in your area.
“Social media has a role to play. It’s not about replacing officers on foot patrol. It’s another way of engaging with people.
“People see us walking about in our high-visibility yellow jackets. I see our use of Twitter as our on-line yellow jacket.
“If you want to meet us the old fashioned way then fine. If you want to talk to an officer on patrol then fine. If you want to meet us in the village hall then fine.
“But if you want to contact us by social media why not? It is another effective way of helping us do our job.”