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Wiltshire crime figures fall faster than national average
1:44pm Friday 18th July 2014 in News
Wiltshire’s crime figures have continued to fall, being down by 2.3% compared to last year potentially meaning 757 fewer victims of crime than last year.
And the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that that Wiltshire’s reduction in crime is greater than the national average of 1.3%.
The statistics cover the period April 2013 to March 2014 in comparison to the same period the year before.
Chief Constable Pat Geenty said: “I am pleased with the crime statistics and in particular the decreases in burglary, robbery and vehicle crime.
"These are all victim-based crimes that communities care about and I feel it is vital not only that Wiltshire Police deliver a professional service but that we provide reassurance through the crime statistics that we are continuing to tackle these crimes.
"There has been a renewed focus on the quality of crime recording nationally and in accordance with this we have continued to review and quality assure our crime reporting standards. This has in some areas led to a rise in reported crime, such as violence against the person.
"However, I will be keeping a close eye on these areas to ensure that we continue to be successful in tackling night time economy and serious crime across the county.
"I continue to tell my officers and staff that I do not want a target driven force.
"Our focus is on delivering an effective service, where the public can feel confident in Wiltshire Police’s integrity and the treatment they receive. “
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, said: “It is encouraging to note that the overall number of victims of crime in Wiltshire has fallen once again.
“The increase in drug offences could be a cause for concern. However, to the extent that the rise can be explained by the constabulary’s work to gather intelligence and then to target and disrupt drug networks, I am reassured.
“The increase in sexual offences results from the constabulary ensuring that crimes are properly recorded. We are now working from a more accurate baseline. The publicity surrounding historic sex abuse cases has also encouraged victims to come forward and speak to the police.
“The increase in violent assaults is a concern and work is underway to establish whether further steps are needed to protect the public.
“I keep the performance of the constabulary under close review, and I will report in detail to the public in September.”
The Wiltshire force is the sixth lowest nationally for overall crime and is third lowest for dwelling burglary rates, having reduced by 17% compared to a national average of 6.7% reduction.
And Wiltshire Police are fourth lowest nationally for robbery crimes, having seen the greatest rate of reduction of all forces at 19%.
Vehicle crime continues to reduce by 12.5%, three times the rate of the national reduction (3.9%) meaning 432 less victims of vehicle crime.
Wiltshire has seen a 15.6% (233 offences) increase in drug crime offences. This increase is down to effectively targeting drug networks and detecting crime in the right areas. Through intelligence work and proactive operations such as Operation Harness more crimes have been detected in this area.
There has been an increase of 9.6% for violence against the person. This is higher than the national average of 5.6%. Wiltshire Police remain committed to tackling night time economy issues and encouraging victims of domestic violence to come forward to enable the police to continue to understand and reduce violence within the county.
Sexual offences have increased by 6.3%, compared to a national figure of 19.7%, which is due to changes in recording practices and can also be attributed to high profile cases with multiple victims during the reporting period.