Crime levels fall in Devon

CRIME across Devon and Cornwall has fallen by almost 8,000 incidents, latest Home Office figures released today show.

CRIME across Devon and Cornwall has fallen by almost 8,000 incidents, latest Home Office figures released today show.

From October 1, 2008, to September 30, 2009, (the latest quarter), recorded crime has fallen by 7 per cent, a reduction of 7,920 crimes.

Devon and Cornwall is now the fourth safest place in the country with an average of 59 crimes per 1,000 population - the national average being 83.

Vehicle crime has decreased by 16 per cent, burglary by 13 per cent, and theft and robbery by eight per cent each, with violence against the person also down by five per cent.

The number of recorded crimes involving drugs has increased by 13 per cent, but this is due to more proactivity from police in apprehending those involved in drugs offences. Investigations like Operation Glendale in Plymouth have had significant impact on improving the well being of local communities by reducing drugs use and supply.

Acting Deputy Chief Constable Debbie Simpson welcomed the news, but maintained work to make Devon and Cornwall even safer will continue.

Most Read

ADCC Debbie Simpson said "These latest statistics show that we are winning the battle against the criminal and reducing crime across the board - meaning many thousands less victims.

"We know that crimes such as burglary and violence against a person have a real impact on people's lives and I'm pleased to see substantial reductions.

"Working with partner agencies and our communities we will continue to build on this good work and I hope to see crime reducing further as the year progresses."

In the last year The Government has changed the way it scrutinises performance of police forces.

Previously forces had a number of targets, on which they were judged. There is now one national target. A joint target with local councils, it is about to what extent people agree the police and local council are dealing with antisocial behaviour and crime that matters in their area; these surveys are carried out by an independent body through the British Crime Survey.

Despite Devon and Cornwall remaining such a safe place, the British Crime Survey, released today, Thursday January 21, by the Home Office, has shown that the perception in the level of crime in the region remains disproportionately high.

ADCC Simpson said, "We aim to work closer with our communities so that local people have confidence in the police and how we work with local authorities and other agencies to solve community problems.

"Public confidence is absolutely key to successful neighbourhood policing and we are taking action to show people how we are making their towns and villages safer.

"We know from listening to our communities that our biggest area for improvement is actually telling people what we are doing.

"Recent research carried out by the force shows that the satisfaction levels of those that have contact with us is very high sitting at 84.9% overall, with victims of anti social behaviour at 80.5%. This shows that we are doing what the public wants us to do when they become a victim of crime, but we need to tell our communities about outcomes.

She added: "We have missed opportunities in the past to communicate with our communities and became aware that as a result of this their confidence would reduce. We have now put actions in place to communicate more frequently and effectively with our local communities. For example, 89.9 per cent of local people asked have said they would prefer to be updated on local crime, news and initiatives via a newsletter. This increase in communication began late November 09 and will continue; our own recent data has already shown that this is having an impact.

"The force has invested heavily in neighbourhood policing over the last three years and it is pleasing to see that over 50% of the population have met a member of their neighbourhood policing team. Over a third of our communities now tell us they see us on foot patrol once a fortnight compared with 12% three years ago.

"We are also significantly increasing the use of our community messaging system and continuing with the Partners and Communities Together (PACT), meetings that give residents a real opportunity to have their say on how their neighbourhood is policed.

"And by using initiatives like Court and Convicted on our force website, we want to arm communities with the information they need to give a true reflection on the safety of their area and the action their police are taking.

"We would encourage members of the public to visit the force website where they can see what is happening in their local area.