Essex is one of the safest counties
CRIME levels released by the Home Office today showed Essex is one of the safest counties in England.The National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) revealed there were a total of just 84-recorded offences per thousand people in Essex making it the eight safest place to live.
CRIME levels released by the Home Office today showed Essex is one of the safest counties in England.
The National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) revealed there were a total of just 84-recorded offences per thousand people in Essex making it the eight safest place to live.
However, despite the impressive record, statistics show people still do not perceive themselves to be safe from crime, with many afraid about the levels of violent crime.
The detection rate for the 136,181 crimes committed in the county was only 27% overall, although more than seven out of 10 violent crimes were detected and more than 90% of recorded drugs offenders were caught.
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The NCRS results are the first ones from a system introduced last year which details all crimes reported by a victim, rather than leaving police to decide what should be recorded.
The changes have led to an increase in crime figures across the county, but in real terms crime is down by one percent.
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The figure of 84 crimes per thousand people in Essex compared with 89 in Norfolk and 75 in Suffolk.
Essex Police said that it would take time before the system could be used for effective comparison.
Essex Assistant Chief Constable (Crime), Liam Brigginshaw, said there had been an additional 7,677 crimes recorded in the previous 12 months.
He said: "The NCRS is a welcome introduction since it is important that we have a full perspective of offences and trends and that all police forces can count crime in the same way.
"However, it is no surprise that this has created a distortion in the first year, a more realistic comparison will be available in future years when it will be a case of comparing like with like.
He added it was pleasing that Essex remained of the safest counties.
A spokesman for the force said it welcomed the news that the county remained a safe place.
He said: "In Essex there has been a 21% increase in crime figures, because all types of crime, no matter how minor, are now recorded.
"We knew that it was going to be an increase. Crime is up 20%, but the Home Office is saying it is responsible for 21 percent of the increase. So in real terms it is down by one percent.
"This time next year, it will be a like-for-like system, so that is when the real test will come.
He added figures showing an increase of violent crime were due to all low-level thuggery and yobbish behaviour, including harassment now being recorded in that category.
Colchester MP, Bob Russell, said he was grateful for all the work done by the police.
He said: "Not only do we live in a relatively safe county, Colchester is in relative terms safer than many other parts of Essex.
"However, it does not mean we should be complacent as there is still too mush anti-social behaviour that needs to be tackled in a meaningful way – the general public can help the police there by being the eyes and ears of the community and reporting what goes on."