Crime falls in Devon and Cornwall

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CRIME across Devon and Cornwall has fallen by almost 8,000 incidents, show Home Office figures released today (Thursday).

The figures from September 2008- September 2009 record that crime in the two counties has fallen by seven per cent, a reduction of 7,920 crimes.

Devon and Cornwall is now the fourth safest place in the country, with an average of 59 crimes per 1,000 population compared with the national average of 83.

Vehicle crime has decreased by 16 per cent, burglary by 13 per cent and theft and robbery by eight per cent each. Violence against the person was also down by five per cent.

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The number of recorded crimes involving drugs has increased by 13 per cent, but this is attributed to more pro-active policing in apprehending those involved in drugs offences.

Acting Deputy Chief Constable Debbie Simpson welcomed the news, but said work to make Devon and Cornwall even safer will continue.

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She said "These latest statistics show that we are winning the battle against the criminal and reducing crime across the board - meaning many thousands less victims.

We know that crimes such as burglary and violence against a person have a real impact on people's lives and I'm pleased to see substantial reductions. Working with partner agencies and our communities we will continue to build on this good work and I hope to see crime reducing further as the year progresses."

Despite Devon and Cornwall remaining such a safe place, the British Crime Survey released by the Home Office today, shows that the perception in the level of crime in the region remains disproportionately high.

ADCC Simpson said: "We aim to work closer with our communities so that local people have confidence in the police and how we work with local authorities and other agencies to solve community problems. Public confidence is absolutely key to successful neighbourhood policing and we are taking action to show people how we are making their towns and villages safer.

"We know from listening to our communities that our biggest area for improvement is actually telling people what we are doing. We have missed opportunities in the past to communicate with our communities and became aware that as a result of this their confidence would reduce. We have now put actions in place to communicate more frequently and effectively with our local communities.

"The force has invested heavily in neighbourhood policing over the past three years and it is pleasing to see that over 50% of the population have met a member of their neighbourhood policing team. Over a third of our communities now tell us they see us on foot patrol once a fortnight compared with 12% three years ago. We are also significantly increasing the use of our community messaging system and continuing with the Partners and Communities Together (PACT) meetings that give residents a real opportunity to have their say on how their neighbourhood is policed.

"And by using initiatives like Court and Convicted on our force website, we want to arm communities with the information they need to give a true reflection on the safety of their area and the action their police are taking. We would encourage members of the public to visit the force website where they can see what is happening in their local area.

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