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Cornwall Crime Figures

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1:52pm 17th July 2014
(Updated 1:52pm 17th July 2014)

Violent crime in Cornwall and Devon continues to rise.

Latest statistics from the police show cases where people were injured are up three percent.

Where they are not hurt it has leapt by over ten percent in the Duchy alone.

Deputy Chief Constable Bill Skelly says they're determined to bring rates down this year: "We've known for some time that alcohol plays a significant part when it comes to violence both in the home and in public places. So we're very keen to see what we can do more of in order to reduce the impact.

Overall crime in the Duchy is down by around three a week, which is a reduction of 188 offences in the year to June

Acquisitive crime has reduced with reductions in dwelling burglary, (down 12.5 per cent), non-dwelling burglary, (down 11.1 per cent), and robbery, (down 11.8 per cent).

Vehicle offences have also seen a reduction of 15.1 per cent, with criminal damage down by 5.2 per cent.

Violence without injury has seen a 10.4 per cent rise in Cornwall - 263 more reported incidents, and also a rise in shoplifting of 19.3 per cent.

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Commander Chief Superintendent Julie Fielding said: "These figures show that crime continues to fall to some historically low levels and that police officers and staff across the County are working hard with partners and communities to keep people safe.

"We have made particular progress in reducing crimes such as burglary and robbery, crimes which particularly disturbing for victims. There are always improvements to be made and we are working closely with partners to improve the services that we deliver to those who report domestic abuse and sexual offences, crimes which have significant impact on those reporting.  These are often difficult incidents to report and we will do all that we can to support victims.

"We recently introduced our specialist sexual offences and domestic abuse investigation officers in a number of locations across the County who are committed to supporting victims and tackling offending behaviour.

"We have seen a rise in shoplifting and have plans to tackle this in every town. We are working closely with retailers to prevent shoplifting and also with partner agencies to understand the root causes of such offending and identify those in our communities who need help as well as intervention".

Chief Superintendent added: "We have experienced a rise in violent crime at the lower level and have worked hard to understand where such crime takes place in the County to prevent offending from happening. We identify those who continue to commit violent crime and target their behaviour.

"Every crime has a victim and we review crimes to understand how we can improve the service that we provide. Overall we continue to make progress in reducing crime and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly remain a safe place to live, work and holiday. I am determined that we keep it that way."

Across the Devon and Cornwall force area crime when up by 0.4%, that is one crime per day.

This includes violence without injury, (up 15.3 per cent), violence against the Person (Not DA Related), (up 1.4%), sexual offences, (up 10.4 per cent), and shoplifting, (up 12 .3 per cent).

Sally Piper runs victim support charity Skudya, she tells us it is a good thing more people are coming forward to report sexual offences, she said: "I think it is because people have seen that actually the police and other agencies are taking it seriously they're thinking well maybe I can report it, there is a lot of media so people are hearing about them, which historically hasn't happened, it was a bit taboo wasn't it, people didn't talk about this sort of stuff.

"Different people will respond in different ways, but what we do know is that actually if they don't talk about it, if they don't get some help, it will be there for the rest of their lives, and if they can pluck up the courage to come forward, to call us or call the police, we can actually offer them some support."

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Bickley said: "These figures illustrate crime levels remaining largely static across Devon and Cornwall in the last three months and throughout the last year.

"We have seen significant reductions in acquisitive crime such as burglary which have a huge impact on victims. The small rise in crime we have seen equates to less than one extra recorded crime a day, which in the country's largest geographic police force, is a very small increase.

Mr Bickley added: "How crime affects a victim is absolutely paramount and at the forefront of everything we do. We are working with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to focus on those offences that have the biggest impact on victims and the lives that they lead.

"Things such as domestic abuse and some sexual offences have been greatly under reported in the past and it is encouraging that victims are becoming increasingly more confident in reporting.
 
"The most important thing is for the police and partners to focus on the causes of crime and prevent reoffending."
The data comes at the same time as police strength figures up to 31 March, 2014, show the Force now has 3096 Full Time Equivalent police officers, compared to 3082 in 2013. This is supported by almost 600 members of the Special Constabulary.

Mr Bickley said: "There is no doubt the Force has already faced and continues to deal with the huge challenges that having £40 million less in the budget brings.

"But we are striving to work closer than ever with our communities and partners to do things differently and give the best value policing possible to Devon and Cornwall.

"We continue to have a committed and highly skilled workforce which the Force and wider public can rightly be proud of."

1:52pm 17th July 2014

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