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Crime Figures: Violent Crime Rises
3:24pm 16th October 2014
Violent crime in Cornwall and Devon is rising.
Official police figures show there were 905 more attacks in the last year, including domestic violence.
Sex offences have soared by almost 11%
Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said: "Although we have seen some significant successes this year there are some areas that remain a concern and we are proactively working to reduce them.
"Sexual offences and domestic abuse have traditionally been significantly under-reported to police. Over the last 12 months we have been encouraging victims to come forward to police and we hope that this increase in figures shows victims have more confidence in reporting these crimes.
"We have experienced a rise in violent crime and we are working closely with partner agencies to understand the root causes of offending, target those who commit violent crime and identify those in our communities who need help as well as intervention.
"We will continue to build on the good work reflected in these figures to ensure public trust and confidence is maintained in the service we provide. We are making progress in reducing crime and Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly remains a safe place to live. I am determined to keep it that way."
Shoplifting is also up by 4.4% or 334 crimes although offences have been on a downward trend since June 2014 due to proactive work being carried out across the Force with local partners and businesses to reduce retail crime.
Despite this, recorded crime fell by almost 4% over the last year according to the statistics and overall crime for the 12 months to September 2014 fell by 3.9%. That's a drop of 3,336 crimes, compared to the same period in 2012/13.
Victim-based crime, a key performance measure for the Police and Crime Commissioner, is down by 5.3% or 3,297 offences.
The Force has seen significant reductions in domestic burglary (10.1% or 331 crimes) and vehicle offences (15.6% or 940 crimes). Non dwelling burglaries have decreased by 11% or 863 crimes, other thefts by 9.8% or 1,417 crimes while criminal damage is down by 910 crimes or 6.1% and public order offences are down by 8.4% or 483 crimes.
Historical figures from the Office of National Statistics, also released today, show that Devon and Cornwall had a 1% rise in crime between June 2013 and June 2014 compared to the same period the previous year.
Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer welcomed the continued fall in crime but acknowledged that the statistics showed areas which need further improvement: "These figures are extremely encouraging and demonstrate that we are continuing to make sustained and real progress in terms of reducing crime.
"We have recorded significant reductions in burglary, vehicle offences and personal theft - all offences which are extremely personal and stressful for victims. Our officers focus on the crimes that have the most adverse impact on people’s lives and we are doing everything we can to reduce crime in these areas.
"The overall decrease is a real achievement in light of a £47.9 million budget reduction in this Force within four years and fewer officers. These figures are a credit to the dedicated and professional officers and staff who are working extremely hard to serve the communities of Devon and Cornwall and keep the public safe.
"The figures show that the risk of becoming a victim of crime in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly remains low. But while crime figures are a useful measure to help identify where to direct resources they are just one way in which we monitor our performance in order to make our communities safer. We also need to ensure that people are confident in and satisfied with the service the Force provides, that victims are being listened to and treated with respect, and that offenders are being brought to justice.
"It is heartening to see that public confidence in Devon and Cornwall Police remains steady with 67.4% of people stating they believe that police in their local area are doing a good or excellent job. Devon and Cornwall Police currently has the 6th highest public confidence level out of the 42 forces in England and Wales."
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