CROYDON's new police chief says he's not about the figures when it comes to tackling crime in the borough. Chief Superintendent Andy Tarrant is now in his third week as the borough's commander and wants to build confidence in the force, which he insists will help reduce crime and improve community relations. "I'm not about figures," he told the Advertiser last week. "Everyone's into reductions and detections and doing this and that with figures. "Yes, I'm conscious of them, but I'd say my priority is really about confidence, listening to people's concerns and responding to those and building on the successes of crime reduction in the borough. "Croydon is on the up, and the challenge for me is getting that message into the communities." With local connections, he added he would probably be judged by his own relatives. "I'm about making this borough safer. I've got family who live here. I was raised in Bromley and went shopping in Croydon, I've been out socialising here. "I suppose for me the acid test will be what my family think of the policing services in the borough. "I've got an affinity with the area and I want to make it as safe as I can." According to statistics released in April, crime was down in Croydon by 9.5 per cent in 2013/14. But domestic violence reports were up by nearly 15 per cent for the second year running. Chief Supt Tarrant said it's not an issue the police alone can deal with. "It's about working with health, social services and other partners to identify and implement good practice. "But clearly there's a role to play in terms of policing, it's about dealing with calls promptly, getting there quickly, it's about having a positive arrest policy, it's about putting offenders, where possible, before courts." When it comes to that particular type of crime, Chief Supt Tarrant said a rise in reports may show confidence in the force to deal with it. "People want me to reduce crime, but actually do I want more reporting of domestic violence? Because that would suggest that there's confidence in the police service to be able to deal with it. "I might get pressured to reduce the incidents of domestic violence, but I want to increase its reporting." He added that working to reduce domestic violence would help deal with other crimes. "Clearly there's a longer term issue around children, so children who are from households where such violence has occurred are more likely to offend in the future. "I think it's my duty to give them a better future by tackling domestic violence."
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