Increase in violent crime at Axminster

Shoplifting offences also showed a big rise in 2011 - but overall the annual crime figures were down

THE number of violent crimes and sexual offences increased at Axminster last year.

Cases of domestic abuse also showed a 90 per cent rise during 2011 and shoplifting offences more than doubled.

But overall the annual crime figures were down from 460 to 426, PCSO Andy Trott told town councillors on Monday.

And cases of criminal damage – one of the town’s biggest concerns – decreased from 111 to 82 – a significant drop of 26.1 per cent. Offences of rowdy or nuisance behaviour reduced from 190 to 157.

Domestic burglaries were also well down from 26 to 15.

“It is quite a good result - we had a good year, really” said PCSO Trott.

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Shoplifting showed the biggest per centage increase – with 22 cases compared to nine in 2010 – a rise of 144.4 per cent.

Incidents of common assault were next highest, with 25 cases last year, compared to 12 in 2010 – up 108.3 per cent. The five cases of serious assault represented a 100 per cent rise.

Sexual offences were up by 50 per cent – with nine recorded incidents.

Thefts from vehicles increased from 22 offences to 31 – a rise of nearly 41 per cent.

And domestic abuse cases were up from 20 to 38.

Police solved 88 cases during the year – an overall detection rate of 20.7 per cent.

* Violent crime includes murder, serious and other assault, common assault, harassment and other violence.