COTSWOLD police are taking a new approach to halt a rise in crime in Moreton-in-Marsh.

The Intensive Engagement approach is being piloted in several areas across the county, and Gloucestershire Police are the latest to adopt it.

The approach is designed to harness the efforts of statutory and non-statutory agencies to tackle problems within communities, and is designed to release potential within those communities to participate in lasting solutions that reduce the conditions that lead to crime or anti-social behaviour.

Sergeant Garrett Gloyn, of the Cotswold Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "Although reported crime figures are still low when compared to other parts of the county we recognise that there has been a rise in crime and that this rural community have issues and frustrations in terms of access to many services.

"We are particularly concerned about the vulnerability of young people in Moreton and want the young people of Moreton to have the best possible opportunities to lead successful lives."

Police crime statistics show that, having remained static for four years, last year recorded crime in Moreton rose by 20 per cent, low level assaults, criminal damage and drug offences all recorded rises in the town, and young people, aged less than 24 years old, make up a significant proportion of both offenders and victims for these offences.

County Council data for the Cotswolds also showed that the number of children, aged between 13 and 16-years-old being permanently excluded from schools in the district has remained fairly constant over the last four years and over the same period there has been a 50 per cent increase in the number of children electively withdrawn from mainstream education for home schooling. Year to date 2018/19 the number of children is 140.

Sgt Gloyn said: "The number of children permanently excluded from is relatively low.

"The number of children electively home educated is at its highest number, 14 for the last academic year.

"Many of these local children may be being effectively educated outside the mainstream education system but we believe a significant proportion may not and this will lead to an increased likelihood of them becoming involved in criminality or anti-social behaviour, either as victims or perpetrators.

"The working group of agencies and concerned residents has been formed and has begun a process to build relationships and links with key, enthusiastic local people and community groups.

"We want to establish the vulnerabilities in the town and what successful work is already there.

"Ultimately the community will devise local solutions and interventions for the vulnerabilities it and the residents face."

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