Police say the number of recorded crimes in the region is ‘encouraging’ when compared with last year.

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THERE has been an encouraging drop in crime figures during the past year, police have reported.

Across North and West Devon, the number of recorded crimes was down by 6.5 per cent to 8,576 when compared to last year, while the North Devon sector alone saw a 10.5 per cent reduction to 1,734.

Barnstaple is down by 11.4 per cent to 2,646 crimes and Ilfracombe by 11.7 to 949. Bideford was down 1.6 per cent to 1,562, but Torrington has seen an increase of 5.6 to 433.

Across the whole sector, which includes Okehampton and Tavistock, violence with injury was down by 2.9 per cent to 1,119, but South Molton had seen a 19.5 per cent increase to 49 crimes and Torrington a 7.1 per cent rise to 60.

Domestic burglaries had fallen dramatically in most areas, however, with Ilfracombe seeing a reduction of almost 33 per cent to 33 incidents and Torrington falling by more than 40 per cent to 13.

“Bearing in mind these are recorded crimes and we recognise that not everyone reports incidents, the underlying trend even though we are in a time of recession, is very encouraging,” said North Devon Sector Inspector Roger Bartlett.

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