Crime continues to fall across North Devon


- Credit: Archant

New figures show year-on-year reduction, with drug crime down by 31 per cent.

NEW figures released by Devon and Cornwall Police show a fall in crime across North and West Devon.

Total recorded crime across Devon is down 5.3 per cent for the 12 months up to Sunday, October 13, but in the north and west of the county, there was an overall 9 per cent reduction.

In Barnstaple and North Devon crime fell by more than 13 per cent.

Locally, trafficking and possession of drugs was down by 30.8 per cent and 12.2 per cent, respectively, and non-dwelling burglaries fell by 30.2 per cent.

Domestic burglaries were down nine per cent; robbery by 17.2 per cent; vehicle offences by 14.1 per cent; criminal damage by 10 per cent; and violence with injury by 3.3 per cent.

Last month the Gazette reported that the number of violent crimes in Torridge was down 20 per cent compared with the same time last year.Superintendent Michele Slevin, policing commander for North and West Devon, said: “The continuing hard work and professionalism that my officers show make North and West Devon one of the safest places to live. “These figures are also testament to the partnership work that takes place to make our Communities safer and reduce the fear of crime. “However these results most definitely come from the support and respect that we have from the public in preventing crime in their communities and their commitment to supporting our work to bring offenders to justice for crimes and behaviour that impacts them and their families”.According to the Office for National Statistics, Devon and Cornwall Police has the 12th lowest crime in the country. In March 2013 the area was ranked 13th.Deputy chief constable David Zinzan said: “We have continued to cut crime even after four years of cuts and additional savings of £7.5 million during this performance year.“We saw excellent reductions during the performance year up until June when we faced with one of our busiest summer for years. “Devon and Cornwall faces particular challenges in the summer, policing an influx of approximately 10 million more people with no additional resources. This is great news for businesses and our communities but it does put unprecedented demands on our service. Mr Zinzan said the Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg had made a commitment to keep police officer numbers above 3,000, but the force was still 400 police officers, 414 police staff posts and £47 million lighter than three years ago.“We have also made great progress towards the Police and Crime Commissioner’s commitment to focus resources on the most vulnerable groups; this is evidenced by increased reporting of crimes such as domestic abuse and sexual offences.“Our staff are working closer than ever with our communities to do a fantastic job in keeping them safe. It is a genuinely magnificent response by them to change the way in which they work to meet the new challenges they face on a very regular basis.However, Mr Zinzan accepts there are challenges ahead in maintaining the reduction in crime and working with significantly less resources.He added: “There is no doubt that nationally we are seeing an increase in some types of crime and Devon and Cornwall is no different. Areas like drink-related violence, antisocial behaviour and some sexual offences are a worry for many forces in the country.“Although these figures show we are performing well, we are constantly analysing data and evolving the way in which we police to give the best service possible to the people of Devon and Cornwall.”

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