THE NUMBER of reported crimes have almost halved in a Bracknell estate a year after a police and council partnership came into force.

Since December 2016 Thames Valley Police and Bracknell Forest Council have formed the Partnership Problem Solving Group (PPSG), reducing reports of crime by 46 percent in the Mount Pleasant estate from December 2016 to August 2017.

By working alongside the council's drug and alcohol team, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Southern Housing Group and Kerith Community Church, help has been offered to persistent offenders and troubled residents.

Assistance was given to one alcoholic man who was getting into rent arrears and was at risk of eviction, and to a persistent beggar in Bracknell Town Centre who misused controlled drugs and lived in a flat without any electricity or gas utilities.

Iain McCracken, Lead Member for Public Protection at Bracknell Forest Council, said: "These positive results clearly show how effective partnership-working is in Bracknell Forest.

"This method of problem-solving has resulted in less demand for services as well as a better of quality of life for residents in the area."

The group is also responsible for decisions regarding applications for Closure Orders and monitoring Closure Orders that have been awarded by the court.

PC Craig Popham, based in the Neighbourhood Team at Bracknell police station, said: "By working collaboratively to support local residents, the Mount Pleasant Problem Solving Group has been able to reduce the number of reports of crime significantly.

"Anyone wanting to report a crime should contact the 24-hour police enquiry centre by dialling 101. Please call 999 in an emergency, where a crime is in progress, or there is an immediate threat to life."