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‘Historically low’ levels of vehicle crime and burglaries across Devon

PUBLISHED: 09:47 09 April 2014 | UPDATED: 10:00 09 April 2014

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Latest crime figures show an overall reduction in crime - but violence and sexual offences are on the rise.

DEVON has seen historically low levels of crime for dwelling burglaries and vehicle offences in the last year, police have revealed.

The news comes as crime figures between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014, show an overall 0.3 per cent reduction in crime across the county.

However, despite a 7.9 per cent fall in burglary and 2.3 per cent fall in vehicle crimes, the figures show a rise in sexual and violent crimes.

Domestic abuse rose by 886 crimes, violence without injury increased by 668 crimes, sexual offences rose by 128 crimes and criminal damage rose by 553 crimes.

Chief Superintendent Paul Davies, Devon commander, welcomed the reduction in crime but acknowledged there are some areas which need more attention.

Ch Supt Davies said: “The reduction in crime in Devon is a commendable achievement by my officers and staff who have been working incredibly hard over the last 12 months to ensure Devon remains a safe place to live.

“We have seen significant reductions in robbery, burglary and criminal damage which are all extremely difficult and stressful for victims to cope with and I am pleased to see these crimes continue to fall.

“Despite this there has been an increase in some areas and there is further work to do to reduce crime even more.”

Ch Supt Davies said officers focus on the crimes which have the most adverse impact on people’s lives, and do everything they can to reduce crime in those areas.

“Domestic abuse, which accounts for about a third of all violent crime, remains a high priority for us,” he said.

“This, along with sexual offences, is an area that has been traditionally under-reported to police.

“Officers have concentrated on encouraging victims to report incidents to police, which may help to explain why the number of incidents in this area has increased.

“We know there are challenges ahead in tackling levels of violent crime, particularly alcohol-related violence and these are areas we will be focusing particular attention on this year.

“However this is not something we can tackle alone; our partners and the local community also have a role to play in keeping Devon safe from harm.”

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