Crime has fallen for the ninth year in a row in Derbyshire and the chances of being a victim of crime are now at the lowest level for a generation and significantly lower than in neighbouring forces, say police.
Derbyshire Constabulary has announced overall crime has reduced from 65,884 in 2010/11 to 61,483 in 2011/12 meaning there were more than 4,000 fewer victims this year compared to last.
Compared to 2002/03, when National Crime Recording Standards were introduced across the country, there are 41,697 fewer victims of crime, an overall reduction of 40 per cent. In 2002/3 there were more than 103,000 victims of crime.
The biggest single reduction was in the violent crime category which fell by 15 per cent, reflecting a long term strategy with the police and partners to reduce violent offending.
The end of financial year figures also reveal that house burglary reduced by 12 per cent, vehicle crime by six per cent, criminal damage by ten per cent and anti-social behaviour by nine per cent.
The positive outcome rate increased from 33.6 per cent in 2010/11 to 36.6 per cent in 2011/12. Positive outcomes represent those crimes where an offender has been identified and the crime solved to the satisfaction of the victim. Positive outcomes include offences taken to court (either the Crown Court or the Magistrates’, offences ‘taken into consideration’, offences where the offender might receive an official caution or a formal Fixed Penalty Notice or offences resolved using restorative justice.
Satisfaction in the service provided by the police has also risen by five per cent from 82.3 per cent to 87.3 per cent.
According to the British Crime Survey the number of people who believe the force is doing a good or excellent job has risen by 12 per cent in the last three years to 60 per cent. The same survey shows that 71 per cent of the public have confidence in Derbyshire police. These levels are second highest in the East Midlands.
Chief Constable Mick Creedon said: “This is yet more good news for the people of Derbyshire. It’s a fantastic achievement to have recorded a ninth year in a row of crime reduction. Every year we see crime reduce it means less people are suffering as victims. Nevertheless, we are committed to do all we can with partners and communities to reduce crime further and we know the dreadful impact of crime and anti-social behaviour on communities.
“This year we have also seen a large fall in violent crime which is very welcome. We recognised there was a problem so we put a strategy in place to deal with it and reduce it. Anti-social behaviour, which affects many people, has also reduced which is excellent news.
“The police record the figures and we clearly have a huge role to play in reducing crime and holding offenders to account – but we know this is not all a result of the work we do. None of these reductions in crime could have been achieved without the support and involvement of the public, local communities and the fantastic work of other partner agencies such as the local authorities, voluntary groups and many others.
“Over recent years my officers have also worked hard to improve their service, which is reflected in the increased level of public satisfaction and confidence and the increase in detected crime.
“While I am delighted with these figures and the reductions in crime, the numbers only reflect a part of what the police service does every day. The figures are largely about what the public report to us – but we also spend a huge amount of time hunting down the most serious offenders whose criminal behaviour is often not reflected in the statistics.
“Over the last three years we have gone through immense change and have lost 400 officers and police staff members. We are now a much smaller organisation but the demands on us continue to grow. I must pay tribute to the commitment, dedication and hard work of all our officers and staff.”
Alan Charles, vice-chair of the Police Authority, congratulated the entire constabulary on a remarkable achievement, saying: “This is really exceptional performance and full credit to all the officers and staff across the force for their commitment and contribution to the ongoing cuts in crime and increase in detections.
“As a result, there are considerably fewer victims of crime across the county and the quality of life in communities is improving. The Police Authority will sustain its scrutiny to ensure there is no let up in performance in the hope that this coming year will be the tenth successive year of crime reductions.”