Suffolk 'one of the safest counties'

SUFFOLK remains one of the safest places in the country to live, with crime rates well below the national average, the British Crime Survey has revealed.

Lizzie Parry

SUFFOLK remains one of the safest places in the country to live, with crime rates well below the national average, the British Crime Survey has revealed.

The statistics, released by the Home Office, show the total recorded crime rate in the county - 68.8 offences per 1,000 of the population - makes Suffolk the sixth safest county in England.

Crime has fallen by 5.4%, with 48,330 crimes recorded by police in the period 2007/08, the lowest number of crimes noted in the East of England in the last year.


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Police chiefs have highlighted the importance of community policing and Safer Neighbourhood schemes in driving down the crime levels across Suffolk.

Assistant Chief Constable, Gary Kitching, said: “It is a big team effort, if you have a good community base, add to that a really good response capability and good detective capabilities it all adds up to a very powerful team.

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“The excellent local knowledge we have means that wrong-doers cannot stay undetected, offenders can be effectively tracked by their movements and even the clothes they tend to wear.

“Rather than just dealing with the symptoms of crime we deal with the generators of crime.”

Chief Constable of Suffolk police, Simon Ash praised officers for their part in the face of a difficult period for the force in the run up to the trial of serial killer Steve Wright.

“The figures show a sustained, long-term improvement in the safety of Suffolk and reflect the dedication and commitment that the officers and staff of the constabulary have shown during a particularly challenging period,” he said.

One of the only areas where Suffolk's crime rates bucked the national trend was in the number of sexual offences recorded, increasing by 5.7%.

Focusing on future plans Mr Ash said: “The views of the people we serve are extremely important to us and the results from the British Crime Survey are pleasing; however, we want to continue to build on their trust and confidence and deliver the best possible service to the communities of Suffolk.”

SUFFOLK FIGURES

- Violent crime fell by 6.8%

- Vehicle crime fell by 9.7%

- Criminal damage fell by 6.7%

- Burglary fell by 2%

- Detection rates up more than 2% to 30.2%.

- The risk of being a victim of crime is low in Suffolk. Nationally young men between the ages of 16 and 24 have a 13% chance of being a victim of crime. In Suffolk the figure is 3.2%.

- The report has revealed that 59.3% of people in Suffolk think that police do a good or excellent job, compared to 53% nationally.

- There was a 56% confidence level in the police dealing with anti-social behaviour issues in Suffolk, compared to a national confidence level of 45%.

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