Towns praised for crime levels

IPSWICH and Colchester are two of the safest large towns in the country, according to a new set of crime figures released yesterday.The league table, by independent think-tank Reform, polled 55 places in England with populations of more than 100,000 people.

IPSWICH and Colchester are two of the safest large towns in the country, according to a new set of crime figures released yesterday.

The league table, by independent think-tank Reform, polled 55 places in England with populations of more than 100,000 people.

It took latest figures for seven types of crime - murder, rape, burglary, robbery, car crime and gun crime - and came up with a crime level per 1,000 residents.

According to the findings, Ipswich and Colchester are two of the safest places to live and work - finishing 48th and 53rd respectively (with 55th being the most safe).


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In Ipswich there were 5,541 crimes committed, which works out at 39.94 offences per 1,000 people and in Colchester there were 3,539, at a rate of 33.90 every 1,000.

Robert Chambers, the chairman of Essex Police Authority, said: “This is as a result of the Essex policing style - there have been an extra 15,000 extra arrests since Mr Baker [Chief Constable Roger Baker] has been there.

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“People want to see criminals arrested and, if necessary, locked up, but it is also a case of dealing with quality of life issues - the low-level crime which affects people.”

He said he hoped the problems such as gun crime faced by cities such as Nottingham would never be seen in Essex.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “We remain committed to keeping our communities safe and providing local people with the best policing service.

“These aims are the foundations of our Suffolk First For You initiative which launched last year after we met the Suffolk First challenge of making our county the safest in the country.

“Last year violent crime fell by 2.5% and obviously we will continue to focus on this as well as other crimes such as burglary.”

The most dangerous places were Nottingham, Leeds and Stockport, while the two safest were Southend and Poole.

Reform said its table could be taken as a “starting point” for a new way of analysing crime data, based on a method used in the US for 12 years.

But the organisation pointed out that some large groups of crime such as criminal damage or drugs were not included in the survey.

The report gathered statistics from police forces using the Freedom of Information Act and took population data from the 2001 Census.

Town Crimes per 1,000 head of population.

1. Nottingham 115.54

2. Leeds 107.22

3. Stockport 100.42

4. Bradford 100.40

5. Manchester 98.71

6. Oldham 94.08

7. Bolton 90.56

8. Rotherham 89.79

9. Sheffield 78.74

10. St Helens 78.18

Others:

47. Norwich 42.64

48. Ipswich 39.94

50. Cambridge 39.05

53. Colchester 33.90

55. Southend 30.91

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