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Crime in Dorset falls to 15 year low

Latest figures show that crime in Dorset is at a 15-year low – with total crime down 11 per cent on last year.

As well as the reduction in total crime, some of the biggest reductions have been seen in violent crime, which is down by 14.6 per cent, and theft – down 15.1 per cent.

Burglary (including dwelling and non-dwelling) is also down by 4.9 per cent.

One of the biggest improvements has been in anti-social behaviour, which fell by 15.8 per cent, compared to 2011/12, to a 10-year low.

The figures come in the latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) report on crime statistics in England and Wales, covering the financial year 2012/13 – which was released today, Thursday 18 July 2013.

The report did identify some challenges – with an increase in vehicle offences of 8.5 per cent.

In the latest Home Office report – also released today – the sanction detection rate also fell for the sixth year, by a 0.1 percentile point from 2011/12 to 21.6 per cent.

Acting Assistant Chief Constable Martin Hiles said: “The continued improvements and reductions in many areas of crime in Dorset are great news for our hardworking workforce and, most importantly, the communities we serve.

“These good results are particularly noteworthy as they came in a year when we faced some additional challenges with the policing of the Olympic sailing events in Weymouth and Portland and numerous critical incidents. These incidents included two tragic landslips, at Burton Bradstock Beach and Beaminster Tunnel and the murder of Reece James in Boscombe – for which four men are now serving lengthy custodial sentences.

“I’d like to thank our communities and partners for their continued support in helping us keep Dorset safe – we should be rightly proud of the good results but not complacent.

“Among the very positive results, there are some challenging areas which we are aware of and which we are already working hard to address and tackle.

“Vehicle crime had been steadily increasing for some time and earlier this year we instigated a proactive operation to address this and to work with the public to ensure they are playing their part in keeping their vehicles secure. We will continue to work towards improvement in this area.

“We have also introduced a new policing operation – Operation Advance – to improve the service we provide to victims in Dorset.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said: “I welcome the continued decline of overall crime in Dorset. Recently launched Operation Advance will help the Force to investigate crime more efficiently and effectively. Efforts are also being focused on reducing vehicle crime by detecting emerging patterns of criminality.

“We are prepared for challenging times ahead as the Force faces reduced budgets and resource but we remain committed to protecting the public and driving down crime.”

Issued: 18 July 2013