Total crime in Derbyshire has increased over the last year, but the county has bucked the national trend by seeing a drop in violent crime, new figures have shown.
The latest statistics, which reveal the end-of-year figures for the force, show that crime increased by 1.7 per cent in 2016/17 compared to 2015/16, rising from 53,007 to 53,786.
Violent crime, where someone suffered an injury, fell by three per cent to 7,040 incidents. ‘Violence without injury’ crimes, such as incidents of common assault, stalking and harassment, fell by 1.8 per cent to 5,095.
During the last year, the number of house burglaries rose slightly from 2,611 to 2,791 while theft rose from 24,855 crimes to 26,240.
Chief Constable Peter Goodman said: “I’m pleased to see that despite a rise in overall crime nationally, the rise in Derbyshire has only been slight, which makes us one of the safest counties.
“We have also seen a drop in violence, which goes against the national trend.
“These statistics reflect recorded crime but when we look at the Crime Survey for England and Wales, this shows that our communities have confidence in the force and the service we provide.”
Mr Goodman said the 53,700 crimes do not represent the full range of offending in the county.
He said: “We are seeing a rise in the more complex and hidden offences we deal with, such as domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation and modern slavery. I welcome this rise because it shows that people are feeling confident enough to come forward and make a report.
“We must also recognise offences such as fraud and cybercrime, which have a huge impact on vulnerable people and local businesses in the county and we have dedicated resources to investigate these offences.”
Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “It is testament to the skill of Derbyshire Constabulary’s leadership and the commitment of the entire force that crime in Derbyshire has remained stable. But this positive position is going to become harder to hold as the funding cuts continue to have an impact on our workforce numbers.
“We also have to take into account the changing nature of crime with often unseen criminality such as fraud and cybercrime requiring a totally different policing approach to the visible policing presence expected by the public.
“Hidden crimes such as forced marriage, domestic abuse, modern slavery and human trafficking will not just go away and of course, we have to be alert at all times to the threat of terrorist activity. In short the government keeps ask the police to do more with less.
“There comes a point when that's not possible, which is why I keep challenging the government for a fairer funding settlement for Derbyshire police.”