POLICE are trying to tackle residents’ perception of crime in Burnham and Highbridge.

Many people feel the town centre is not a safe place to be at night, a recent survey by Sedgemoor District Council has shown.

When asked whether they feel safe in the town or village centre after dark, only 53% of respondents in Sedgemoor said they did.

Sgt Elaine Linham of the Sedgemoor police team, said: “That survey has helped us a great deal. Sometimes what we’ve not done well enough is telling the people the good work that we have done.

“Sometimes when they have the problem, we haven’t done enough to tell them when we’ve found a solution.”

Andy Pritchard, the new Neighbourhood Inspector for Sedgemoor, said: “What we are working towards is to reduce fear of crime and increase confidence in the local police.”

“The community will tell us what concerns them and we will work with the community along with our partner agencies, such as Sedgemoor District Council, the press, Somerset County Council and other agencies, to increase confidence.

“We go out and identify the local problems and everyone works together for local solutions.”

Over 80% of crimes reported in Sedgemoor in 2013 were reported at night. Of the 3,932 crimes reported in Sedgemoor in 2013, 3,241 were reported between 8pm and 5am. In Burnham and Highbridge, a total of 881 crimes were reported at night in 2013.

Insp Andy Pritchard said: “The level of night-time crimes aren’t high. It may be that crimes are not being reported until night-time.”

“I don’t consider that there is a particular problem with crime here but what I do recognise is that perception is a problem.”