Police welcome crime survey results

EAST Anglia remains one of the safest regions in the country, with the lowest rate of recorded crime, new figures released today reveal.Suffolk saw fewer crimes recorded per 1,000 population than anywhere else in the region in 2005-6 at 77, making it the safest county in East Anglia, according to the annual British Crime Survey.

By Danielle Nuttall

EAST Anglia remains one of the safest regions in the country, with the lowest rate of recorded crime, new figures released today reveal.

Suffolk saw fewer crimes recorded per 1,000 population than anywhere else in the region in 2005-6 at 77, making it the safest county in East Anglia, according to the annual British Crime Survey.

It is followed by Norfolk (79 crimes per 1,000 population), Essex (81), Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (both 91) and Bedfordshire (103).


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But the county saw recorded crime rise by 1% last year compared to 2004-5, whereas most other areas in the region saw a drop, including Essex (-2%), Hertfordshire (-2%), Norfolk (-2%) and Cambridgeshire (-9%).

The British Crime Survey, published today by the Home Office, shows crime across the east of England as a whole fell by 2% during 2005-6 while the region had the lowest rate of recorded violent crime in the country, at 17 offences per 1,000 population.

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Total recorded crime in the east of England stood at 471,681 offences during 2005-6.

Burglary, theft and handling, vehicle-related theft and criminal damage were also recorded at rates well below those of the average for England and Wales.

Sue Howl, regional director for community safety and regeneration at the Government Office for the East of England, said: “The statistics represent very good news for people living and working in the east of England with total crime falling by more than the national average.

“The fact that we have less violent crime and are making such an impact on burglary, car crime and criminal damage is testimony to the hard work of many agencies like the police, local authorities and key people from the public, private and voluntary sectors, working effectively in partnership together and with local communities.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull, head of Suffolk Constabulary's crime management department, said: “It is encouraging to see a reduction in violent crime, particularly as it has been a priority of ours for some time now.

“As part of the Suffolk First for You initiative, we have been working hard with our partners to ensure that our streets remain safe places to live work and socialise.

“A particular emphasis has been placed on tackling night-time, alcohol-related offences - and it our initiatives appear to be paying dividends.

“We will not be complacent and will continue to build upon this success in reducing violent crime, especially during the months ahead with our 'Summer of Zero Tolerance' initiative.”

John Broughton, Assistant Chief Constable of Essex Police, said: “The figures show that Essex Police continues to improve in performance and that the county is the eighth safest in England. It has the fourth lowest national burglary rate and half the national average of robberies.

“Our detection rate now stands at 31% and this is the highest in the eastern region and also higher than the national average of 27%.”

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