Crime down, detection up

THERE has been a significant drop in crime in North Devon and Torridge in the past year and detection rates are among the highest in the Devon and Cornwall area. The good news is contained in figures released by the police, showing 1,301 fewer crimes in t

THERE has been a significant drop in crime in North Devon and Torridge in the past year and detection rates are among the highest in the Devon and Cornwall area.The good news is contained in figures released by the police, showing 1,301 fewer crimes in the area in 2007/08 than the previous year: 12 per cent fall.They also show a detection rate of 28.5 per cent, which is above the Force target of 27 per cent.The drop in crime from 11,151 to 9,850 incidents saw reductions in all areas except two: drugs and car crime.Violent crime fell by 16 per cent (448 incidents); serious assaults by 22 per cent (to 25 offences); robbery by 17 per cent (35 crimes); domestic burglary by 12 per cent (11 crimes); and criminal damage by 12 per cent (2,655 incidents).But drug offences increased by 49 crimes or 16 per cent and vehicle crime by seven per cent to 1,009 crimes.The region's senior police officer, Chief Inspector Paul Davies, said: "The figures are broadly positive for North Devon and Torridge with a significant overall reduction. The reality is a reduction of more than 1,300 recorded crimes and far fewer victims of crime. The detection rate of 28.5 per cent is one of the highest in the Force area." Reductions in violent crime and serious assaults were extremely positive, he said. This reflected work by police and partner agencies through Safer North Devon in mounting high profile reassurance campaigns, particularly in Bideford.Last year a multi-agency campaign had also been mounted against criminal damage. The reduction in these figures bucked the national trend.The current rise in vehicle crime, albeit small, was of concern and similar action would be undertaken on this, he said. Discussions would take place with partner agencies over the next month or two to put a car crime action plan into place.The increase in drugs offences showed the positive effect of pro-active policies against suppliers and users, said Chief Inspector Davies."I am really pleased at the positive results, which reflect the sustained efforts of police and their partner agencies and we are anxious to continue that over the next year.


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