Crime Goes Down in Kent
Heart's been told there were 14,000 fewer crimes in Kent between April 2009 and March 2010 compared to the 12 months before.
The statistics have been released by the Home Office and show that all crime went down by 11.8 per cent.
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Brandon said: "As a force, we are extremely pleased that the past 12 months has seen a continuing overall reduction in crime, and we will continue to tackle the priorities that the people of Kent have set.
"We want to reduce crime and anti social behaviour even further over the next year.
"We have made great progress and we want to continue to do so, despite the difficult financial climate that we will face in the year ahead.
"The success of our Neighbourhood Task Teams has helped to reduce anti social behaviour (ASB) in many areas of Kent, property crime, particularly burglary and vehicle thefts.
"This neighbourhood policing model is now used across the county and our officers will continue to work closely with local communities and partner agencies to tackle the issues of most concern to the public."
Current performance (June 2009 - May 2010) shows a continued reduction of all crimes by 0.3 per cent compared to April 2009 to March 2010.
The period for April 2009 to March 2010 shows there has been a 5.2 per cent fall in the number of burglaries at homes across the county. This means 290 fewer crimes. This figure represents a rate of 7.6 burglaries per 1000 households.
Latest figures show knife crime is down 30.6 per cent with 170 fewer crimes.
Gun crime reduced by 29 offences, a fall of 31.2 per cent. This figure represents -0.1 crimes per 1000 population.
Criminal damage reduced by 18.1 per cent (-5016 crimes) and Violent crime reduced by 10.8 per cent (-2870 crimes).
ACC Brandon said: "Criminal damage can blight our communities and prove costly to small businesses, and our officers have worked hard to catch those individuals responsible.
"The reduction in violent crime shows that Kent is a safe place to live and socialise."
Drugs offences rose by 5.3 per cent, an increase of 211 crimes.
ACC Brandon said: "The increase in the number of drugs offences recorded shows our commitment to detecting and dismantling not only organised crime groups involved in the cultivation, production and trafficking of drugs, but also individuals who peddle drugs in our communities.
"We have had a number of successful operations within this period that has led to the increase.
"Our officers targeted Class A drugs supply in Canterbury and coastal towns last September which led to 18 arrests.
"In another case, four Thanet men were sentenced to almost 20 years imprisonment, following their convictions for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
"Mid Kent has also seen an increase in arrests due to ongoing operations using our passive drugs dogs.
"And enforcement work in Medway has also seen a rise in the number of people arrested through use of passive drugs dogs, high visibility policing and work within the night time economy, as well as Neighbourhood Task Teams that have disrupted the dealer network.
"Kent Police remains fully committed to bringing to justice those involved in the production and supply of drugs and removing drugs from our county's streets."
Kent Police is a force leader in using Ion Track drugs testing machines, which uses a swab to test hands for traces of drugs. Passive drugs dogs are also used to scan areas such as night club queues. Detection of drug offences has improved and officers are highly trained in testing for drugs. Kent Police also offers support to drug users by referring them for treatment programmes and counselling.
Sexual offences increased by 0.2 per cent from 404 to 405 crimes.
Theft of pedal cycle increased by 2.6 per cent (50 more crimes).
Figures show offences against vehicles, which includes vehicle interference and theft of and theft from a motor vehicle, are down 21.8 per cent from 15,042 to 11,759 crimes.