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20 January 2011, 13:07 | Updated: 21 January 2011, 10:20
Crime in Kent has fallen year on year since 2006, and is continuing to reduce according to the latest Home Office crime statistics.
The figures for the rolling year October 2009 to September 2010, released today (Thursday 20 January), show that all crime in Kent has fallen by 3.9 per cent, compared to the same period in the previous year (08/09).
This means there were 4,389 fewer crimes in Kent and Medway.
Violent crime has reduced by 6.9 per cent (1718 fewer crimes), while knife crime and gun crime specifically have each fallen by around 20 per cent each.
Incidents of knife crime have fallen by 19.4% (86 fewer crimes) while gun crime has seen a reduction of 20.5 per cent (15 fewer crimes).
Kent Deputy Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said: 'We are pleased these very serious offences have seen major reductions in Kent, where figures were low in the first instance. We aim to make Kent as safe a place as possible, and we are completely committed to tackling violent crime and to bringing those responsible for it to justice.'
Criminal damage has also continued to fall, with the last twelve months showing a 10.4 per cent reduction, which means there have been 2,571 fewer crimes in Kent and Medway.
Offences against vehicles have also reduced by 11.5% (1,522 fewer crimes).
DCC Pughsley added: 'Criminal damage can seriously affect people's quality of life so it's very encouraging to see a significant reduction of more than 2,500 crimes. Our neighbourhood policing teams work extremely hard to ensure local communities are listened to and issues such as criminal damage are tackled quickly and effectively.'
However, small increases have been seen in other areas of the most recent crime statistics.
Burglary figures show a small increase of 2.3 per cent (286 more crimes), while robbery has increased by 6 per cent (53 crimes). Theft offences have gone up by 3.8 per cent (1023 crimes).
DCC Pughsley said: 'We have seen a continual decrease in burglaries over a number of years in Kent so this small increase is disappointing but we are determined to bring the figures back down. We ran major operations against burglary and theft shortly throughout December and, during a targeted series of raids we arrested almost 200 people for a variety of offences including burglary and theft. We will continue to relentlessly target those people responsible for burglaries in Kent in coming months.'
Drugs offences have gone up by 8.5 per cent, meaning 338 more crimes of this kind have been recorded, and sexual offences have also increased by 15.6 per cent - 205 more crimes.
DCC Pughsley said: 'The increase in the number of drugs offences recorded actually highlights 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 the last year which we are sure have contributed significantly to the increase. A major operation in October yielded 49 arrests and detected a large number of drugs related offences.'
DCC Pughsley concluded: 'We have seen an overall reduction in crime over the past four years and these latest crime statistics are encouraging but also show us where there is room to continue our hard work and bring numbers of offences down even further and bring more criminals to justice. We will continue to tackle crime and disorder across Kent, keeping it one of the safest places in the UK.'