A BOLD plan to beat crime by uniting the community is being drawn up.

Burnley council is taking a radical new step in the fight against the rising tide of crime on our streets.

The plan is to strengthen the community by encouraging co-operation between people and organisations, and to implement a unified anti-crime strategy across the whole borough.

The council has set up a six-month inquiry into how best to tackle crime, its causes, and the fear of crime.

The emphasis is on involving everyone in a big effort which will unite the police, the council, anti-crime groups and residents.

In a report to the policy and resources committee, council officer Lesley Giddins says: "Crime and the fear of crime play a major and debilitating role in the lives of many people in Burnley.

"For example, research among residents of Stoneyholme and south-west Burnley has shown crime to be high on the list of factors adversely affecting people's quality of life.

"A crime survey of Burnley Wood residents showed that 23 per cent of people surveyed felt unsafe in their own homes at night, 58 per cent felt unsafe on the streets of Burnley Wood at night, and 53 per cent felt unsafe in the town centre during the hours of darkness."

Burnley's crime rate is the third highest in Lancashire, and domestic burglary - which has a devastating impact on people's lives - continues to rise.

The council wants to use its leading role to bring anti-crime agencies together, as well as developing a strategy to ensure that the community safety implications of all council decisions are taken into account.

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