CRIME in Lyme Regis is causing local councillor Cheryl Reynolds to lead a drive to form a ‘DIY police force’, aimed at putting the eyes and ears of hundreds of informants all across the town.
Following the release of official figures which reveal that the offender gets away with it in 98 per cent of cases, the town and district councillor is aiming to form a new-style Neighbourhood Watch, which will work to protect homes and businesses in every street in Lyme.
In her role as chairman of the residents association, Councillor Reynolds is leading a push to sign up residents to form Lyme’s new ‘Town Watch’. The scheme has the support of the police and will work hand in glove with local PCSO Amanda King.
The first meeting to establish the new protection group will be held at Halletts Court in Queen’s Walk on Friday July 27, from 10am to 12noon. All residents are invited to attend.
“We want to put eyes and ears of police informants in every street in town, we have to act to stop crime in Lyme,” said Councillor Reynolds.
Detailed statistics released by the Home Office revealed more than 100 incidents of anti-social behaviour and more than 60 cases of violence and sex attacks took place in Lyme Regis in the last year.
The figures also revealed that, in 65 per cent of cases, the police cannot identify or prosecute a suspect – and a conviction resulting in either a fine, prison sentence or conditional discharge is only achieved in 2.2 per cent of cases.
That means that in 97.8 per cent of cases of local crime the offender is not punished.
“Cuts to their budget mean that police cannot give the town the sort of cover that many residents would prefer, so we need to help them, and help ourselves, by providing an army of informants,” said Councillor Reynolds.
“The aim is to establish a new form of Neighbourhood Watch in every area of Lyme, we want to cover the entire town and to send criminals a stern message, ‘from now on we will be watching you’.”
The Home Office figures for Lyme Regis crime committed between May 2018 and June 2017 reveal that there were 111 acts of anti-social behaviour and 61 violent or sex attacks.
There were 293 crimes committed in Lyme Regis in the 12-month period. But in 68 per cent of cases investigated, the outcome was “no further action” by the police.