Crime in Devon and Cornwall has fallen over the past year according to the latest figures released by the Home Office. Overall, between April 2007 and March 2008 total recorded crime in Devon & Cornwall fell by 10 per cent on the previous year (compared

Crime in Devon and Cornwall has fallen over the past year according to the latest figures released by the Home Office.Overall, between April 2007 and March 2008 total recorded crime in Devon & Cornwall fell by 10 per cent on the previous year (compared to a nine per cent fall nationally). The figures also show that more people in Devon & Cornwall believe that the police understand and deal with local concerns than the national average.The burglary rate for Devon & Cornwall (which accounts for 10 per cent of total recorded crime, compared to 12 per cent nationally) has decreased by eight per cent, a bigger fall than the national decrease of six per cent.Vehicle crime has also fallen significantly in the force area, with a fall in recorded vehicle crime of 15 per cent. Nationally the figure has dropped by 14 per cent.Latest figures for criminal damage also show a reduction, with offences decreasing by 12 per cent across the two counties, compared to a fall of 13 per cent nationally.Whilst drug offences nationally have risen by 18 per cent, (this is largely associated with the increased police use of powers to issue warnings for the possession of cannabis) the rise in Devon & Cornwall is significantly lower at 11 per cent.Violent crime against a person has dropped by seven per cent, while sexual offences have fallen by three per cent and robbery by 17 per cent in Devon & Cornwall. Nationally violent crime has reduced by eight per centIn terms of perception the latest findings show 68 per cent of the Devon & Cornwall population think the police understand local concerns, compared to 62 per cent nationally.Similarly 56 per cent of the population in the force area believe the police deal with local concerns, compared to 51 per cent across England and Wales.Chief Constable of Devon & Cornwall Police, Stephen Otter, said: "The figures released are very encouraging and it is pleasing to see that the hard work and commitment of our officers and staff is helping combat crime across the Peninsular. Whilst the numbers are promising, we are not complacent, and are committed to achieving further improvements in our performance. "We are aware of the need to work closely with our partners and the public to further counter criminal activity and we will continue to work towards a reduction in crime levels over the next year".