Police reduce crime by 19% in Honiton

CRIME in Honiton and the surrounding villages was reduced by 19 per cent over the last financial year.

CRIME in Honiton and the surrounding villages was reduced by 19 per cent over the last financial year.New figures, released by Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, show there were 963 recorded crimes in the town and 23 nearby villages in the year ending March 31 - the equivalent of 2.6 crimes a day.In the previous year, 1,506 crimes were recorded in the same geographical area, which spans 260 square miles.Sergeant John Gait said 2008/09 had been a very productive year for his neighbourhood team."We have made real progress in terms of our overall volume of crime," he said."Considering the huge geographic area we police, I am very pleased with such a level of performance."I can assure the community that we remain focused on the need to maintain our performance to the highest standards and develop new, innovative ways to combat crime."Violent crime was down by 23 per cent, domestic burglary was reduced by 45 per cent and thefts from motor vehicles fell by 21 per cent.After a prolonged outbreak of criminal damage in 2007/08, recorded incidents of vandalism fell by 26 per cent.Sergeant Gait believes the success can be attributed to a number of things, including a more locally-focused approach to policing, as well as having more autonomy from management to tackle issues that really affect the community."Such ingredients, coupled with the commitment and dedication of my team, who have worked far more late weekends than they were supposed to, have helped achieve this dramatic reduction," he told the Herald."Our Operation Safe Nights Out has resulted in us working a number of Friday and Saturday night operations in order to reduce anti-social behaviour, alcohol-related crime and increase public reassurance."These operations have proved very effective and prompted a very positive response from the local community."Operation Twickenham targeted known criminal groups to reduce rural burglaries and utilised additional force resources within the policing area."Overall, by having a clear strategy and then using a diverse range of tactics, we have been able to have a real impact," said Sergeant Gait.