THE upper Calder Valley is officially the safest place to live in Calderdale.
Statistics released by West Yorkshire Police show that not only have the lowest number of recorded crimes been committed in the Upper Valley policing ward, compared to the Halifax North and East, Halifax Central and the Lower Valley wards, but also that less crimes are committed per person.
The areas in the ward are the Todmorden, Calder, Luddenden Foot and Ryburn council wards.
Insp Dave Browning, of the Upper Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT), said: “I am pleased to see that overall crime is going down in the upper Calder Valley and that our continued efforts are having a positive impact within our local communities.
“We have all worked tremendously hard to help keep crime down and we remain committed to making our streets safer.”
The figures show that from the calendar year ending April 2011, there were 1,384 crimes committed in the Upper Valley, 3,198 in Halifax Central, 1,915 in the Lower Valley and 2,491 in Halifax North and East.
Going off the latest population figures, the average crime rate per person is 0.03 in the Upper Valley, 0.06 in Halifax Central, 0.05 in Halifax North and East and 0.04 in the Lower Valley.
Statistics running to November 9, 2011, and covering a 12 month perios, also show that the Upper Valley has the lowest number of recorded crimes in relation to burglary dwelling, burglary other, robbery and criminal damage.
Divisional Commander for Calderdale, Chf Supt Chris Hardern, said: “It is very difficult to compare NPT areas since they are all different with different problems which we try to address.
“However I am delighted to report that over the last few years, crime has come down throughout Calderdale. The relationship the police have with their local community and partner organisations is vital to tackling the problem. It is a joint effort.”
The news could be a timely boost for the local economy.
Barbara Evans, of Todmorden Tourist Information Centre, said: “If people felt the area was not safe then they would not come, so it is good that we are the safest place in Calderdale.”
Michael Uren, Chairman of the Todmorden Business Association, said: “If the information is true then that is fantastic news for businesses and it’s good that premises are nice and secure.
“I’m glad to see any reduction in crime figures, but it must be taken with a pinch of salt.”
The news has also received a mixed reaction from the public, with some questioning the validity of the figures. David Latham, who lives in Cornholme, said: “If we have the lowest crime rates then that is good. But it does beg the question of whether people are contacting the police when they are the victims of crime.”
Jo Weller, who lives in London but is visiting a friend from Todmorden, said: “My impression as a Londoner is that people do watch out for each other here and there is more of a community feel. I have felt safe since I have been here.”
Calderdale Mayor and Calder Ward Councillor Nader Fekri praised the police for their hard work.
“I am obviously delighted about these figures and I think it is vindication of the policy of community policing,” he said.