Latest crime figures show a 5.2 per cent drop in crime across Devon and Cornwall against last year.

Crime across Devon and Cornwall has fallen by 5.2 per cent in the last year, according to the latest figures released on Thursday.

While burglary, vehicle crime and criminal damage figures have all fallen on last year, there has been a 20 per cent increase in sexual offences.

Deputy chief constable Bill Skelly said he hoped this was due to victims having more confidence in reporting these types of crimes.

He said: "In the past, domestic abuse and sexual offences have traditionally been significantly under reported to police.

"In partnership with the police and crime commissioner we have continued over the last 12 months to encourage victims to come forward to police."

Mr Skelly said the overall reduction in crime was a 'commendable achievement' by officers and staff who had worked 'tirelessly'.

He added: "This shows that Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly continues to be one of the safest places to live in the country.

"We are doing everything we can to reduce crime while ensuring victims have the best support, exemplified by our newly launched Victim Care Unit."

Across Devon, crime dropped from 41,729 reported last year to 39,012 this year - a drop of 6.9 per cent.

Mr Skelly said: "As ever there are areas we wish to see an improvement on.

"For example we still believe that domestic violence is still an under reported crime and we will continue to work hard in this area to encourage victims to come forward and speak to the police.

"Overall, the fall in reported crime is encouraging and this is down to the excellent work of officers and staff who continue to rise to these challenges to keep our communities safe especially under the tightening financial restraints."