At yesterday's full council meeting, as Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, spoke of the city's success in attracting investment and development, a question from Broughton Councillor, Jim King, showed the reverse side of the equation.
Councillor King asked for a comment on the fact that crime in his ward of Broughton had gone up by 8%, to which Councillor David Lancaster, Lead Member for Community Safety, responded that burglary from dwellings, particularly in Broughton, had actually gone up by 12% over the last twelve months, February 2016 to February 2017.
"Crime and disorder has been reducing in Salford for the last three years" he explained "This year the trend is worrying to say the least..."
He then gave the latest crime figures which show that overall crime in Salford has risen by 7% - with violent crime up 15%, stealing up 3%, hate crime, particularly in Kersal, up 4%, theft from vehicles up 2% and domestic related crime up 1%. Meanwhile, theft of cars has reduced and anti-social behaviour has fallen by 3%.
"We've got to strive to improve it" said Councillor Lancaster, adding that the crime figures are only based on reported crime, urging residents to report all crimes even if it means the figures rising again... "We're always being told it's not a correct record of what's happening on the ground..."
He explained that the Greater Manchester Police budget had been reduced by £118million* since 2010, that there were now two thousand fewer officers - "a massive fall" – and that the number of PCSOs - which made a "massive difference" - had been reduced significantly... "However" he added "This year the Police Commissioner has agreed we should recruit more PCSOs."
Salford's overall crime rise of 7%, Councillor Lancaster explained, compared favourably with Greater Manchester as a whole, which saw all crimes increase by 10% on average...
Specifically for Salford, he concluded, "We have an action plan in place at hotspots, and hopefully we will have some success..."
Update: 19th March
As the Councillor Lancaster response was a verbal report, the Star misheard the amount of cuts, which were meant to be a £180million cut. The real figure is actually £183million cut. The Star is happy to set the record straight.