Downward trend for crime continues

Crime in Suffolk continues to fall – while more of it is being solved, according to latest figures.

During the first three months of 2013/14 (April to June), Suffolk Constabulary recorded 573 fewer crimes than in the same period last year – a fall of 5.6%.

The latest figures come after crime fell in Suffolk for the seventh consecutive year, with 40,009 offences recorded during 2012/13 – 5,632 fewer than in the previous year.

And they are released as the Constabulary is praised for its work in meeting the financial challenge while protecting its frontline and remaining focussed both on crime reduction and victim satisfaction.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary’s “Policing in Austerity: Rising to the Challenge” report, released today (July 18) says that the force has already made 75% of the £17.3 million total savings it needs to find by 2015 – and praises its collaboration with Norfolk Constabulary as “exemplary” in delivering savings and adding resilience.

The latest crime figures show that reductions were recorded in all the main crime categories, including:

violence against the person – down 6.1%

acquisitive crime – down 7.3%

  • including robbery (down 34%)
  • including all burglary (down 10%)
  • including vehicle crime (down 9.6%)

sexual offences – down 2.6%

At the same time, the number of crimes solved has increased slightly by 21 offences, giving an overall detection rate of 33.6%.

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “The financial challenges that the Constabulary face continue and funding across the whole of the public sector is tight and getting tighter and I am sure the successful collaboration work with Norfolk Constabulary and other partners is key. I am very pleased to see that despite these relentless pressures, the Constabulary is performing well.

“This reduction in recorded crime reflects the commitment and dedication of the Constabulary, and I congratulate them on their performance.

“Some crime, however, is still under-reported and we need to work on this. I want people to feel confident to report crime and for victims to be satisfied with the police service they receive. There are areas, such as serious sexual offences and burglary, where performance needs to improve. I have asked the Chief Constable to pay particular attention to these and I will closely monitor the Constabulary’s progress in these areas.

“I am very optimistic for Suffolk and have every confidence in the Constabulary to continue to provide us with an effective and efficient police service. My ambition is to make Suffolk a safer place to live, work, travel and invest and, working with the Chief Constable, I am sure we are heading in the right direction to achieve this goal,” added Mr Passmore.

Chief Constable Douglas Paxton said: “I am pleased that that both crime and detections are heading in the right direction – and I believe it demonstrates the dedication and commitment of our officers and staff to keep our county safe.

“At the same time, I am delighted that the HMIC’s scrutiny of our financial plans shows that we are in a strong position: continuing to drive down crime and maintaining our frontline while making the required savings.

“There are, of course, always areas we can improve in – and in the months ahead, we will continue to make every effort to meet the priorities set out in the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan.

“It is important, however, to remember that crime statistics don’t give the full picture of a local policing service. Just as important is the quality of service we offer local people, particularly when they become victims of crime.

“Both national and local surveys of people living in Suffolk, including victims of crime, show that satisfaction levels with the police are also increasing, which I believe reflects the desire of our officers and staff to offer a professional and caring service to all those who need our help.”