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Overall crime has fallen in Suffolk and Norfolk from this time last year, however there are still areas which have seen a rise.
Latest annual performance figures show that crime in Suffolk is at a ten-year low following a decrease in the amount of crimes recorded from last year.
The figures, from 1st April 2010 to 31st March 2011, show there were 46,357 crimes recorded - 4,135 fewer crimes than in the same period in 2001/2002.
Compared to last year (2009/10), there has been a fall in crime of 0.2%, and it is the fifth year in a row that crime in Suffolk has decreased, demonstrating that Suffolk remains a safe place to live, work and visit.
The latest figures show:
- Overall crime fell by 0.2% (to 46,357), with 92 fewer crimes recorded than in the same period in 2009/10;
- Violence against the person increased by 1% (72 more crimes);
- Vehicle crime increased by 6% (240 more crimes);
- Robbery increased by 23% (57 more crimes);
- Criminal damage decreased by 5%, with 563 fewer crimes; and
- Domestic burglary increased by 6% (117 more crimes).
Public order offences are also down by 12%, which Suffolk police say is a reflection of the work being done in relation to night time economy.
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Marshall says:
"We have faced a great many challenges this year, not least the financial implications of the spending review, so it is extremely pleasing that crime has decreased again this year. This further reflects the fact that not only is Suffolk a safe county but it is one of the most efficient forces in the country."
However, ACC Marshall says Suffolk Police will not rest on their laurels:
"There are still many areas we need to focus on. This year has seen a large increase in robberies in Suffolk and this is something we have been keen to address.
"We also recognised a worrying trend in serious acquisitive crime and have worked hard to put this right. The first quarter of the financial year was very disappointing, with an increase of 13% compared to 2009/10 but having introduced measures to reduce this figure we ended the year with only a 7% increase. One of the major factors of this reduction was the introduction of Operation Apache where prolific offenders across Suffolk were identified and openly monitored."
We are trying to ensure that the spending cuts do not affect frontline policing and public confidence. Latest figures show that Suffolk is the fifth best force in terms of having visible presence on the streets.
Furthermore, the most recent British Crime Survey showed that in the 12 months to September 2010 Suffolk has improved against the National Confidence Measure by 2.8% to 54.6%, placing the Constabulary 8th nationally."
ACC Marshall continued: "Last year Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) was identified as a number one priority for Suffolk Constabulary. As a result we have seen an 8.3% reduction in ASB-related incidents, furthermore rowdy and inconsiderate ASB has reduced by 9.8%. Suffolk resident's perceptions of ASB also remains low, according to the British Crime Survey the force is placed 2nd lowest in the country. This will remain a priority and we, with our local authority partners, will continue to work together to tackle the anti-social behaviour issues which blight local communities."
Suffolk Police also says 91.9% of 999 calls answered within 10 seconds.
ACC Marshall concluded: "The year ahead will inevitably be another tough one but we are committed to ensuring that our resources are used in the most effective manner so that our communities remain safe. We are determined that visible frontline policing is not affected by the re-structure of our organisation and that we deliver the best possible service to the communities of Suffolk.
Crime is at its lowest for a decade and we want to keep it that way. We have identified areas of improvement and we will continue to focus on not only tackling crime and anti-social behaviour, but increasing local people's confidence in their local policing service."
In Norfolk, the force says the service has continued to perform well and retains its place as one of the best performing forces in the country (safest county in England with 51 crimes per 1,000 population).
Some of the main points include:
- Crime has reduced by 3.2% in the past year, reducing from 44,617 crimes in the previous year to 43,200.
- There were 593 fewer reports of anti-social behaviour
- The percentage of 999 calls answered within the service level of 10 seconds has increased from 82.5% to 92%
- Significantly fewer deaths or serious injuries on your roads.
Policing Priorities for the coming year have been set by Norfolk Police Authority fall within three areas:
- Reducing offending, serious crime and anti-social behaviour
- Improve levels of satisfaction with our service
- Sustain financial stability
They also added that:
1. There is an increase in sexual crime which is attributed to historic reports of abuse coming to us in recent times. These rises are not unforeseen.
2. Violence against the person has seen an increase due to a greater increase in reporting of domestic violence.
3. In September 2010 the new Sexual Assault Referral Centre opened in Norwich providing victims of rape and sexual assault with support and guidance in a safe environment with experienced, knowledgeable and professional staff. Specially trained officers act as a single point of contact between the victim and the police.
4. Norfolk Constabulary also supports the high profile Norfolk Say No!, White Ribbon Campaign set up to support and protect the victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
DCC Simon Bailey said:
"Our priority is to ensure victims and repeat victims get the help and support they need and we will continue our focus on solving and resolving the offences that are important to the public. With more people having that trust to report domestic violence we can protect the vulnerable and interrupt the cycles of horrific abuse that victims go through."