Suffolk is the third safest county

SUFFOLK is the third safest county in England and Wales according to latest crime figures published today Data published by the Home Office shows crime levels in the county are significantly lower than the majority of other counties and Suffolk has jumped from 8th safest county to 3rd in the past 12 months.

SUFFOLK is the third safest county in England and Wales according to latest crime figures published today

Data published by the Home Office shows crime levels in the county are significantly lower than the majority of other counties and Suffolk has jumped from 8th safest county to 3rd in the past 12 months.

Only Surrey and Wiltshire recorded lower levels of crime in 2002-03.

The county improved its performance on violent crime from 24th lowest to 8th and, along with Durham, has the highest crime detection rate with 34% of all offences being detected.


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The news is further boosted by the fact that overall crime levels in Suffolk fell from 50,492 in 2001-02 to 50,315 in 2002-03.

Assistant Chief Constable Colin Langham-Fitt said: "I am delighted with these figures, which confirm that we are on track to meet the Suffolk First target of making Suffolk the safest county in the country by 2006.

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"Maintaining this performance is not going to be easy and to build on it is going to be a challenge.

"One of the key things over the next 12 months is building on the success of the current period. The issue of crack cocaine is affecting the whole country and Suffolk is not exempt from that.

"We are determined that whatever it takes, we are going to win that particular battle."

Mr Langham-Fitt explained that increased police activity in the Metropolitan area had led some crack dealers to head to rural areas such as Suffolk in the belief they will find it an "easy life".

"Happily, for many of them, they have found this not to be the case. There have been significant arrests and certain individuals have decided Ipswich it not a friendly environment for them to work in due to the level of police activity," he added.

"Where crack cocaine gets a real hold in a community, crime around it can spiral. We live in a safe county and are determined to do whatever we can to make sure it stays that way."

Figures show burglary in Suffolk remains the second lowest in the country, with 6,248 offences being recorded.

But public perception of burglary levels in Suffolk has improved from 11th lowest in 2001-02 to second place now in England and Wales – indicating people's perception of burglary in Suffolk is in line with actual trends.

The statistics show Suffolk Constabulary is achieving high detection rates in many categories of crime, with 94% of all drug offences being detected in 2002-03.

Detection rates for burglary and theft are significantly lower with 15% and 22% of offences being detected, although these figures compare favourably with elsewhere in the country.

In other areas of East Anglia, Essex was ranked 8th safest in England and Wales, Norfolk 14th, and Cambridge 28th.

For detection rates Cambridge saw 22% of all crimes detected, Norfolk 24% and 27% in Essex, compared to Suffolk's 34%.

The force experienced a slight increase in violent crime with 8,786 offences being recorded.

Mr Langham-Fitt said: "Violent crime remains a challenge for us. The vast majority are harassment offences, common assaults and those at the lower end of the scale."

The East of England's total recorded crime per 1,000 population was 91, compared to a national (England and Wales) average of 113.

Burglary per 10,000 households was 339, compared to a national average of 439 and all motor vehicle theft per 10,000 households was 991, compared to a national average of 1,068.

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