Crime In Dorset Falls To 12 Year Low

11 January 2011, 13:04 | Updated: 11 January 2011, 13:06

End of year figures show another fall in crime across the Dorset Police area in 2010 – with total crime now at a 12 year low.

This drop in crime saw 3,617 fewer offences recorded by the Force last year compared to 2009 – a reduction of 7.3%.

Total violent crime reduced by 11.1% compared to 2009, a six year low.

Sexual offences reduced by 6.7% while vehicle crime fell by 16%, the lowest level of vehicle crime for 15 years.

The number of reported incidents of anti-social behaviour across Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole fell last year by almost 5,500 compared to 2009 – a reduction of 11%.

Chief Constable Martin Baker said: “I am pleased that crime continued to fall across Dorset last year but we are never complacent.

“The reduction in total crime has resulted in over 3,500 fewer victims in Dorset in 2010 compared to 2009.

“Our staff and officers work hard with partners and the community to continue to make Dorset safer, and it is by working together that we have been able to reduce crime..

“Incidents of anti-social behaviour also dropped last year, with almost 5,500 fewer incidents being reported to the Force. This reflects the success of our Safer Neighbourhood Teams and the joint work they have undertaken with local organisations and communities to tackle anti-social behaviour in Dorset.”

There are challenges that the Force must overcome in 2011 that have been highlighted in last year’s performance figures. For example, robbery rose by 6.7% – an increase of 15 offences.

The number of drug offences rose by 180 – an increase of 11.3%. This reflects arrests made by the Force which, as a result of Home Office crime counting rules, require a crime to be recorded.

However, the most significant challenge facing the Force over the coming 12 months and beyond is to deliver the highest possible level of policing to residents across Dorset with a considerable reduction in funding.

Over the next four years the Force needs to reduce its spending by almost £17 million.

The Force’s One Team Programme has examined ways in which Dorset Police can become more efficient and generate savings, while delivering the best possible service across the county.

Through the One Team Programme, the Force restructured on 1 January this year to ensure it delivers as efficient and effective a service as possible.

As part of the restructure three major command structures have been created. These are Territorial Policing; Crime and Criminal Justice; and Information and Contact Management.

Chief Constable Martin Baker continued: “We cannot underestimate the severity of the financial challenge.

“Over the next four years the Force needs to reduce its annual spending by £16.8 million, this is in addition to the in-year spending cuts of £2.6 million that we are already on track to deliver this financial year.

“However, we have a robust plan focused on achieving performance improvements by changing the way we are organised and achieving even better value for money and I firmly believe that our plan is achievable.”

The public can access local crime data by using the crime mapping facility on the Dorset Police website