County safer as crime rates fall

PUBLISHED: 12:04 26 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:15 05 July 2010

CRIME in Suffolk has fallen to its lowest level for seven years, new figures have revealed.

Chief Constable Simon Ash last night spoke of his delight at the 5.

CRIME in Suffolk has fallen to its lowest level for seven years, new figures have revealed.

Chief Constable Simon Ash last night spoke of his delight at the 5.4pc year-on-year drop in crime levels - and said the fall was due to the introduction of new neighbourhood policing teams.

He said the results showed the county was “getting safer”, but vowed to crack down on rising numbers of drug-related crime.

The latest figures, for 2007-8, show that violent crime decreased 6.8pc, vehicle crime dropped 9.7pc and criminal damage went down by 6.7pc. Detection rates also improved by more than 2pc to 30.2pic.

Chief Con Ash said he was extremely pleased with the positive figures.

“This shows Suffolk as a county is getting safer,” he said.

“Crime is at its lowest level for seven years and we have seen a reduction across all the main categories and I put that down to Safer Neighbourhood Teams and the way they are working with communities across the county.”

He said the increased presence of community policing was not only helping to reduce crime, but also tackling the fear of crime.

Drug crime was the only major category to see an increase in offences from last year, but Chief Con Ash said this was a result of a pro-active stance, which they would be continuing this year.

“We have been targeting that area and by doing that successfully catching people and that reflects in the rise of 5.8pc.

“The message is people should not come to Suffolk thinking they can supply drugs without being caught. The majority of those going to court are going to prison and we are seizing their assets.”

He added: “As we go forward into the coming year, we are looking to reduce crime and detections further and also focusing on key areas, for example, we are wanting to reduce violent crime in public places particularly alcohol and drug-related offences.

“We will be targeting drug suppliers, which are a major issue in parts of the county.”

The force is also looking at increasing its presence through increasing the number of Community Support Officers as well as further developing their working with Neighbourhood Watch schemes.

“I would like to thank the public as clearly they have worked very closely with us this year. We do not work in a vacuum and our success reflects our relationship with the public.”

Gulshan Kayembe, Police Authority chair, said: “These latest figures show that the Constabulary is performing well in making our county even safer, against an extremely challenging financial backdrop.

“We will continue to monitor progress in the year ahead - not just in terms of reducing crime but also the quality of service provided for local people and how safe they feel.”

Over the last year, Suffolk Constabulary had 96,000 emergency calls and answered those in less than 10 seconds in 96pc of cases.

There were 48,330 crimes recorded overall for last year, which was 5,100 crimes less than in 2003-4.

Overall crime fell by 5.4pc (to 48,330 crimes) from 2006-7 to 2007-8.

Violent crime fell by 6.8pc.

Vehicle crime fell by 9.7pc.

Criminal damage fell by 6.7pc.

Burglary (dwelling and non-dwelling) fell by 2pc.

House burglaries rose by 4.6pc.

Drug offences rose by 5.8pc.

In total, 14,594 crimes were solved - 271 more than in 2006-7.

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