Crime falls in Devon and Cornwall

National Crime is down by the largest ever recorded amount according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today.

The period between June 2012 to June 2013 saw the number of recorded crimes against households and resident adults drop by 7% nationally, the largest single drop since the survey began in 1981.

The figures also show a drop of 6% of crime in Devon and Cornwall until June 2013. However more recent figures up to 12 October show a lower drop of 4%.

The figures show that Crime has fallen across many areas with reductions in burglaries (both down 14.2% or 1,280 crimes overall), robberies, (down 12.8%), vehicle offences, (down 10.5%), and criminal damage, (down 11.0%).

Violence with injury is also down by more than three per cent and trafficking and possession of drugs is down by 0.6% and 8.3%, respectively.

Geographically, crime in Plymouth is down 3.8%, in Devon down 5.3% and in Cornwall down 1.8%.

Despite this news Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg is concerned that Devon and Cornwall is losing the status as one of the safest areas in England and Wales.

This follows news that Devon and Cornwall has dropped from 8th to 12th in the safest force league table since June 2012.

Mr Hogg wrote: “Although the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that overall crime in Devon and Cornwall has fallen by 6% to the year to June 2013, more recent local force data suggests that overall crime levels have risen between July - September, compared to the same period in 2012.

“Crime is falling in some areas, such as robbery, burglary and criminal damage, but crime in other categories, including public order offences, low level violence and shoplifting, has risen. There’s also been an increase in the reporting of all sexual offences and domestic abuse, which may reflect increasing public confidence to do so.

“Mr Hogg is seeking reassurances from the Chief Constable about what the force will be doing to address these significant areas of concern.”

The national figures show that there were an estimated 8.5 million crimes against households and residents in the 12 months up to June 2013. There are an additional 800,000 estimated crimes against children aged 10 – 15.

Although there was an overall drop in crimes nationally there has been a sharp rise in the reporting of certain offences.

Recorded incidents of fraud saw a particularly large increase rising by 21% nationally.

The figures released by the ONS are not comprehensive as they do not record crime against businesses and offences like speeding which are dealt with directly by the courts.