Suffolk: Violence, burglary and robbery reported crime to police falls significantly in county
- Credit: Archant
The number of crimes involving violence, burglary and robbery reported to police in Suffolk has dramatically fallen in the past year.
Police chiefs seized on the disclosure to praise a range of measures and operations which they claim have led to the “encouraging” downfall, just months after figures showed overall crime in the county had fallen for the seventh consecutive year.
But Matt Gould, chairman of the Suffolk Police Federation, warned some criminals had left the streets to commit offences “from their computers in their bedrooms” because it was less of a “risk” amid heightened security in homes and cars.
The Suffolk Constabulary progress report found in the 12 months to October 2013:
Violence with injury (crimes) fell by 11.8% to 3,608
Domestic burglary (crimes) fell by 9.3% to 1,764
Robbery (crimes) fell by 27.8% to 213
Anti-social behaviour (incidents) fell by 15.5% to 28,147
It follows Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore’s pledge last month to ensure crime figures are “recorded appropriately” at Suffolk Constabulary.
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It came after MPs were told at a Commons Public Administration Select Committee by retired and serving police officers that statistics are routinely “fiddled” at police forces nationwide.
Mr Passmore said last night there was “no evidence to suggest” that the “welcome” figures were not accurate, but stressed it was imperative to draw a distinction between recorded and unrecorded crime.
“I need to be reassured the data is completely accurate, and has not been manipulated or altered,” he said.
He said a “multitude of measures and new approaches”, including a fresh investment in front-line officers and an improved community engagement, may have contributed to the fall in crime.
But Mr Gould said: “I don’t know if crime is actually going up or down. Criminals are going to do whatever is easiest and they have gone off the street and to commit offences from their computers in their bedrooms. There is a lot less risk involved in getting involved in cybercrime than breaking in to someone’s house.
“The nature of crime has changed and police have to be more innovative and gain new skills.”
Suffolk Constabulary assistant chief constable Tim Newcomb described the figures as “encouraging”.
He said call handling performances and responses to emergency incidents were above target, Operation Drawbridge, launched in October 2012, had tackled domestic burglaries, while a renewed focus on robbery and anti-social behaviour had been effective.
Kate Biles, divisional manager for the Suffolk branch of Victim Support, said: “The progress made in these areas is encouraging, but we should also be clear that there is no room for complacency. We must remember that behind every statistic is a victim.”