Force set to miss violent crime target

By Jonathan BarnesSUFFOLK police fear they will miss their target for limiting the amount of violent crime in the county by more than 1,000 offences, new figures have revealed.

By Jonathan Barnes

SUFFOLK police fear they will miss their target for limiting the amount of violent crime in the county by more than 1,000 offences, new figures have revealed.

The force is aiming to limit the number of offences of violent crime in a public place to 6,414 in 2004-5, but projected figures show that number is expected to climb to 7,439.

Suffolk police is forecasting a further rise in 2005-6, when its target will be 8,200 offences.


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Recent figures showed overall violent crime had risen by 9.4% between April and December last year compared to the same period in 2003, up from 7,950 offences to 8,699. In that time, there were 5,579 violent crime offences in a public place.

The projected detection rate for violent crimes committed in a public place is 54.7% in 2004-5. There was no specified target for this year, but it will be 60% in 2005-6.

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The new performance indicators, revealed in the draft local policing plan 2005-6, also showed the force was expected to miss its targets for answering 999 calls within its target (a projected figure of 84.7% against a target of 90%) and public satisfaction with police response to 999 calls (67.3% against a target of 85%).

Earlier this month, Suffolk Chief Constable Alastair McWhirter said cracking down on violent crime was the force's top priority.

“It happened in the late 1980s and we're seeing it again now, violent crime is going up,” he added.

“We are seeing continued growth in the night-time economy in our towns, with people behaving badly while under the influence of drink, and we are working hard with licensees and local councils to try to stop some of the factors that go into this.

“We have been working in all our towns to ensure Nightsafe and other schemes are working together to try to reduce the violence that happens.”

Despite the rise in violent crime, Mr McWhirter said Suffolk was performing well in other areas and remained the safest county in England with overall crime down on previous years.

A Suffolk police spokesman said yesterday the force was committed to targeting violent crime offenders and would be working hard to meet its targets for 2004-5.

jonathan.barnes@eadt.co.uk

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