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Rise in violent crimes and sexual offences in North Devon

15:24 23 January 2014

Archant

Latest figures show crime has reduced overall across the region but some areas continue to rise.

VIOLENT crimes, sexual offences and public order offences have all risen across Devon and Cornwall, according to new figures.

The figures released today show last year the amount of recorded crimes across the region had fallen by 2.6 per cent – a reduction of 2,235 crimes.

But figures for violence without injury are up 13.1 per cent, public order offences up 18.4 per cent and sexual offences up 11.7 per cent.

Recorded burglary offences, vehicle offences and criminal damage offences have all reduced.

Domestic burglary offences are down 8.6 per cent and non-domestic burglaries are down 11.7 per cent.

There has also been a reduction in the amount of vehicle offences which are down 14.3 per cent, and criminal damage which is down 9.8 per cent.

Figures for shoplifting however are on the rise, with an extra 526 offences recorded last year.

Devon and Cornwall deputy chief constable Bill Skelly welcomed the continued fall in crime, but acknowledged the figures also showed areas needing further understanding and action.

He said: “Crime figures are just one way in which we monitor our performance in order to make our communities safer.

“These figures show Devon and Cornwall remains a safe place to live, work and visit. We want this to remain the case and victims to be at heart of everything we do.

“A small rise in crime in some areas does not make Devon and Cornwall less safe, but none the less, we have to constantly observe crime trends to reduce offences and work with our partners to deal with the root cause of them as soon as possible.”

He added that alcohol was a big factor in crime and was involved in at least 35 per cent of violent incidents.

“There is already extensive work going on with partners and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to look at how this can be most effectively managed,” he said.

“There is no doubt that violent and sexual offences are aggravated and at times caused by alcohol, and that it also impacts heavily on areas such as domestic abuse

“As a Force we remain committed to working closer than ever with partners and communities to problem solve and do whatever possible to help those communities we serve.”

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