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Crime continues to fall in the Thames Valley

There were 16,103 fewer crimes and nearly 14,000 fewer victims of crime in the Thames Valley last year.

Annual figures released today (19/4) show crime dropped by 10.7 per cent from April 2012 to the end of March 2013, compared with the same period the year before.

The number of recorded crimes dropped from 149,803 to 133,700.

And the number of recorded victim-based crimes dropped from 127,186 to 113,302.

Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Sara Thornton said: “We are delighted that the number of crimes across the Force area is continuing to drop.

“It is important for us that not only are we reducing the number of crimes taking place, but we are also making sure fewer people are becoming the victims of crime.”

The categories of crime which showed the largest reductions included domestic burglary and robbery.

Domestic burglaries were down by nearly 20 per cent from 8,815 in 2011/2012 to 7,068 in 2012/2013. This means there were 1,747 fewer people who had their homes broken into.

The detection rate for burglary dwelling has increased from 15.2 per cent to 15.9 per cent.

And the number of recorded personal robberies dropped from 1,537 to 1,172.

Overall, violence against the person was down by nearly 10 per cent, from 21,625 to 19,509. This further reduction is in addition to the reduction of 23.9% achieved this time last year.

The chief constable said: “Thames Valley Police were set a target of reducing personal violence by five per cent, and I am happy to say this has been achieved and exceeded, with reductions of almost 10%. At the same time the percentage of violence cases that are detected has continued to rise, to over 47%

“We will continue to seek to reduce domestic burglaries and violence and our Force priorities for the next year will include reducing rural crime and anti-social behaviour. I’m sure the positive trends will continue.”

Across the Force area, the number of recorded sexual offences has risen slightly.

The number of recorded serious sexual offences rose from 1,384 to 1,400 and the number of recorded rape offences rose from 464 to 502.

The chief constable said: “This has been a challenging year for many Forces in this country in relation to sexual offences, as a result of highly publicised incidents and individuals.

“We have seen an increase in people coming forward to report crimes that happened to them in earlier life, and we continue to encourage any victim of crime to come forward to report it.

“While it is essential that victims feel confident to come forward now and report these offences the investigations are very complex. In some cases the investigations may take a considerable time before we can consider formal prosecution. However, we continue to support victims, working with our criminal justice partners to ensure that, where possible, offenders are dealt with in the courts.  

“We treat all these allegations with the utmost seriousness and a number of investigations are continuing.

The chief constable said: “This year we continued to strive to protect frontline policing and, as a result of that, we have once again seen a significant fall in the amount of crime building on consistent reductions in previous years.

“This is the sixth year in a row that crime has fallen in the Thames Valley and there were nearly 80,000 fewer recorded crimes last year than in 2006/2007.

“This is testament to the dedication and continued commitment by Thames Valley Police officers and staff across the Force area and for the contribution that our partners make and I thank them for all their hard work this year.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley Anthony Stansfeld said: “This shows a continuing satisfactory reduction in overall crime within the Thames Valley Police area which compares favourably with most other police forces.

“I would like to thank all police officers, staff and volunteers for their hard work over the last year.“There are still improvements to be made but reducing crime is also a partnership between many organisations, and getting things working well in such things as the criminal justice system has as great effect on reducing crime as anything the police can do.

“I shall be doing all I can to get these partnerships working better over the next year.”