LIFE IN PRESTON SURVEY: Nearly 1 in 2 affected by a crime in the past 12 months

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Fear of crime is gripping Preston, if results of our Big City Survey are anything to go by.

READ MORE: Just how happy are you to live and work in Preston?

Only one in 10 people questioned said the place is safer now than it was five years ago.

READ MORE: How do you think your taxes should be spent?

For the rest the equation is simple - fewer police equals more lawbreakers.

READ MORE: Day one of the results of the Big City Survey

Of all the topics which troubled you, the risk of crime was one which sent your blood pressure soaring.

And with good reason too. Almost one in two who responded had either been a victim of crime themselves in the past year, or knew someone who had.

With most people admitting they avoid certain areas of the city for fear of becoming another statistic, the survey should send a powerful message to those who govern at national, county and city level.

And to the hundreds who felt compelled to add a personal comment to the figures, the demand was the same: Put more police on the streets before it gets totally out of hand.

Today, on day four of the biggest survey the Post has ever carried out into life in Preston, we uncover the anxiety that exists across the city over a perceived rise in lawlessness.

The first question we asked was: Have you, or someone you know, been a victim of crime in the past 12 months?

The response was staggering. More than 44 per cent answered “yes.”

That included 12 per cent who had been a victim personally, a further 14 per cent who had seen a family member or friend on the receiving end and an additional 18.40 per cent who knew someone else who had been hit by crime.

The startling figures almost mirrored the results of our question on which three aspects of life in Preston did respondents feel needed more Government or council spending. Policing received 48.40 per cent support, coming third behind health and roads.

How safe do you feel?

We asked how secure people are living in Preston now police numbers had been cut by more than 800 across Lancashire due to government austerity measures.

From your responses it is clear safety is a big concern for a significant number.

We asked if crime is a major issue in the city. More than 44 per cent said it was, while only 14 per cent said it wasn’t. Around 39 per cent couldn’t decide either way.

Do you feel safe when you are out and about in Preston?

Almost 36 per cent said “no” and slightly less said they did - again with a sizeable group who didn’t know. When we asked if you felt Preston was a safer place now than it was in 2012, 43 per cent responded with a resounding “no.” Yet only nine per cent thought it was.

On the question of avoiding areas of the city for fear of becoming a victim of crime, almost two-thirds said they bypassed certain parts out of fear.

And the burning question of police on the streets brought the biggest response of all. More than 66 per cent felt the constabulary did not have a high enough profile across the city, with a meagre nine per cent saying they had.

YOUR COMMENTS

Police are stretched to the limit with crime, new cyber crime and trying to prevent terrorism.

No police presence on the streets any more - no local community police stations.

You don’t see any walking about the area like you used to.

There’s a lack of police presence at all times.

Groups hang around which can be intimidating for people. Pickpockets are everywhere. This is not the Preston I had as a child and it is definitely not the Preston I want for my children.

More police activity needed in the Plungington area.

There is little visible police presence.

Policing is dire. No responses to crime like burglaries. They need more funding and to be involved in the community more.

Policing is not visible or easily accessible.

Police need more staff.

More police are needed as more crime is cimmitted.

We have a rise in crime so we need extra police on the street or in cars.

There are no police in my area.

Police response times need improvement and they need more visibility in busy public areas.

I’ve not seen a police officer in the city centre for a long time.

Publish pictures of those found acting loutish, drunk, drugged, disorderly or violent around the city streets. Their conduct infringes our human rights to enjoy the city facilities.

Make it safer - more police would be good.

More police needed on the street, especially at night.

I’d like to see more police patrolling on foot.

We need improved policing in the city centre and suburbs.

I have seen police turn away from children running riot with skateboards over seats and walls.

Basically the place is grim and full of rough people.

I’d like more visibility of police officers walking the streets.

More police with more powers so people would respect them. That’s all the government’s fault. The police do an amazing job under the circumstances.

Make it a safer environment for residents and visiting students with less fear of knife attacks and muggings etc.

The presence of more police at night would make people feel safer.

I would like to see more police around town.

No-one cares any more and the streets are intimidating.

Make it safer for people. Make them feel safer when out and about, especially the elderly.

Let’s have more police on patrol round the streets or put cameras up in other areas.

What happened to bobbies on the beat?

Tackle drug crime more effectively and stop those pushing drugs.