Crime falls as 700 front line jobs face the axe

Devon is one of the safest places in Britain to live.

Devon and Cornwall remain among the safest places in Britain with new figures showing a 12 per cent reduction in recorded crime.

Home Office figures released today, Thursday, the same day it was announced Government cutbacks could lead to the loss of 700 front line jobs, show Devon and Cornwall to be the fourth safest force area in England and Wales with 54 crimes per 1,000 people over a twelve month period to June 2010.

Key areas of improvement include robbery which has seen a reduction of 11 per cent, violence against the person which has fallen by five per cent and burglary which has seen a reduction of 13 per cent. Theft has fallen by 12 per cent, while vehicle crime and criminal damage have both seen the biggest reduction with a dramatic 19 per cent reduction.

The figures show that there has been a 15 per cent increase in sexual offences, but this is being largely attributed to better awareness from victims of support on offer to them and increased reporting as a result.

Targeting of those involved in drug use and dealing has also seen a six per cent increase in the number of recorded drug offences.

Deputy Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said: “These figures show that Devon and Cornwall remains a safe place to live, work and visit, and that we continue to improve across the board.

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“We know that many of these areas, such as criminal damage and burglary, have a real impact on individual’s lives and it is encouraging to see our hard work continues to pay off and that we are having a positive impact in our communities.

“We have exceeded the national picture which has seen an eight per cent reduction in crime and I would like to thank both officers and staff, and the public we serve for the work they have all played in achieving this.”

The results published today also reveal the public’s perception of crime and anti social behaviour in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The figures show eight per cent of the public perceive there to be a high level of anti social behaviour in Devon & Cornwall, compared to a 14 per cent figure nationwide.

17 per cent of people think drug dealing and drug use is a problem in their area, compared to 26 per cent in England and Wales, while 19 per cent believe drunk and rowdy behaviour is an issue in their community, compared to 24 per cent nationwide.

DCC Sawyer said: “We are encouraged by these results and will do our best to lock in these improvements as we enter the new comprehensive spending review period. We are aware that more work can be done to ensure crimes continues to fall, while the perception of crime levels improve. We will continue to work with local partnerships and the community and remain confident that our efforts will continue to show improvements, ensuring the force area remains a safe and desirable place to live and visit.”

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