Sex crimes increase - ‘No concern’, say Exmouth police

A rise in sex offences recorded in Exmouth’s latest crime statistics are not a cause for concern - say police. The increase is down to the inclusion of ‘historic’ crimes, said sergeant Phil Godfrey.

Police at Exmouth say a ‘shocking’ rise in sex offences recorded in the latest crime statistics was not a cause for concern for the town.

In the last 12 months figures show sex crimes in Exmouth were up by almost 150 per cent from the previous year.

Exmouth neighbourhood beat officer Sergeant Phil Godfrey said the recorded increase was a success story – because a number of old crimes had been detected.

He said public help had resulted in the historic crimes coming to light and being solved – bumping up statistics.

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Sergeant Godfrey said: “There’s no concern, we have not got a major increase in sex offences.

“We have a target of 23 offences for the year. This has been exceeded by 13 offences as 36 have been reported.

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“Looking at these reports it’s a fact that many of them are as a result of historic sexual offences reported to us - many of which have been detected.

“What initially looks like a shocking increase is in fact the result of people coming forward and the police encouraging them to do so.

“I would therefore encourage reporting even if the alleged offences are historic, as we work hard to detect any offence reported to us.”

Last year’s crime figures show 27 sex crimes were recorded from August 2008-2009 compared to 64 between August 2009 until the end of August this year.

Police said the 137 per cent rise carried a 42.2 per cent detection rate, with 27 sex crimes being solved in the last year.

Serious assault, domestic burglary and thefts from vehicles also increased during the same period, the figures show.

Criminal damage, shoplifting, nuisance behaviour and drug offences decreased.

In the same period total crimes throughout Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton and the surrounding area, Woodbury, Lympstone and the Clyst Valley fell from 2594 offences to 2342 (-9.7 per cent).

Violent crime decreased from 597 offences to 547 (-8.4 per cent), domestic burglary increased by 35.4 per cent (82 offences to 111).

Other burglary decreased from 139 offences to 106 offences (-23.7 per cent).

Thefts from vehicles rose by 29.2 per cent (144 offences to 186).

Criminal damage decreased from 696 offences to 576 (-17.2 per cent).


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