Suffolk: Crime fell by more than 1,500 offences over last three months

A RESTRUCTURING of frontline policing is being credited with playing a vital role in crime dropping by 13% in Suffolk, according to senior officers.

Figures for the first quarter of this financial year - April 1 to June 30 - show 10,491 crimes were recorded, a drop of 1,633 reported offences compared to the previous period last year.

The constabulary said it continues the trend indicating that crime in our county has been falling for six consecutive years.

These decrease is set against the difficult financial backdrop faced by Suffolk Police due to government cuts in funding which mean the constabulary must save nearly �18 million over four years. In the past 12 months alone it has made savings of �5m.

The quarterly statistics show robbery has dropped by 21% after increasing last year.

The issue became a force priority, and a specialist team dedicated to targeting those committing street robberies in Ipswich was set up towards the end of 2011 and is said to be proving successful.

Sexual offences also reduced by 8.1%.

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Other priority areas based on public concerns are crimes involving violence with injury, which have seen a drop of 9.8%, and improving the solved rate of crimes such as burglary, robbery and serious sexual offences.

Although detection rates for robbery have increased, domestic burglary detection rates have dropped, leading to a high-level action plan being put together looking at all areas including forensics, intelligence and response times.

Suffolk’s Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Tim Newcomb said: “It is very pleasing to see that for the first quarter of this year,` which we have entered having made substantial cuts to departments across the constabulary, crime has significantly dropped.

“We have successfully re-organised local policing to ensure we are getting the most possible from our resources, and we continue to look for new ways to improve services whilst creating efficiencies.

“We are working hard to ensure that whilst we strive to meet the large financial savings required of us, which amount to some �17.7m by 2014/15, we maintain a visible frontline policing presence and continue to keep our county safe.

“We will not become complacent however, and we recognise the huge challenge ahead of us as we continue to make savings whilst providing a first class service.”

Chairman of Suffolk Police Authority, Joanna Spicer added: “This is very encouraging news, particularly in the environment of extreme financial challenges that we currently face.”

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