New figures show crime levels fall across the county

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Crime across Northamptonshire fell by 5.2 per cent during 2012-13, although there were increases in sex offences, burglaries and vehicle crime, according to new figures.

Police say the reduction in overall crime meaning there were 2,593 fewer victims of crime across the county. Corby, Wellingborough and East Northants all saw reductions in overall crime, but Kettering saw a 5.2 per cent increase.

The annual crime figures show that between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2013, offences dropped from 49,576 to 46,983.

Violent crime fell by 12.6 per cent, while drugs offences showed an 8.1 per cent reduction.

A breakdown of the crime figures shows:

Violence – Down from 10,398 to 9,084 offences (-12.6 per cent)

Sexual offences – Up from 753 to 787 offences (4.5 per cent)

Residential burglary – Up from 2,506 to 3,182 offences (27 per cent)

Robbery – Down from 710 to 622 offences (-12.4 per cent)

Vehicle crime – Up from 4,699 to 5,206 offences (10.8 per cent)

Criminal damage – Down from 9,180 to 8,198 offences (-10.7 per cent)

Drugs offences – Down from 1,851 to 1,701 offences (-8.1 per cent)

Survey results for public confidence show that 82.6 per cent of people questioned had confidence that the police were dealing with local concerns.

Chief Constable Adrian Lee, said: “This year has been incredibly challenging for the force. We have policed some of the most high profile events this county has seen in a long time and we have done this at a time when significant cuts have been made to the force budget.

“We have been successful in reducing crime by 5.2 per cent, exceeding the 2.0 per cent target set by the Police Authority, alongside £6.8m worth of savings in the last year - testament to the hard work of our officers and staff together with our partners and communities.

“We saw an increase in the number of sexual offences, which in part will have been the result of an increase in victim confidence to come forward and report these crimes.

“Burglary and vehicle crime also showed increases, however the longer term trend shows that since March 2009 to March 2013, serious acquisitive crime has reduced by 28.3 per cent, meaning 3,552 fewer victims.

“One of the force’s biggest successes has been a 12.6 per cent reduction in violent offences and 12.4 per cent reduction in robbery. As Operation Challenge continues, we expect to see further reductions this year.

“As a result of targeting organised crime groups and cannabis factories, we have also reduced drugs offences by 8.1 per cent.

“Whilst the reductions are encouraging, there are huge challenges ahead. This year we will be working hard to achieve the significant ambitions of the Police and Crime Commissioner to make this the safest county in the country.

“We will remain firmly focused on these areas, in particular reducing burglary and vehicle crime together with further reductions in violent crime.

“We will maximise the potential for collaboration, innovation and creativity to meet the challenges of the Police and Crime Plan set out by the Police and Crime Commissioner, on behalf of our communities in these challenging financial times.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds, said: “The successes achieved during the last year show that, amid change, the force has kept focus on reducing crime.

“For the future, I have set some considerable challenges for the force in the areas that matter to the public. This includes a reduction of at least 40 per cent in violent crime, eradicating drugs, reducing acquisitive crime and making Northamptonshire a secure place with a more visible police force over the next five years.

“There are challenging times ahead for the force, including a significant budget saving of £3m in 2013-14. I look forward to working with the chief constable in finding new and innovative ways to reduce crime and further improve public confidence.”

Force lead for serious acquisitive crime, Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Blatchly, said: “Burglaries and vehicle crime have shown an increase. These offences can be very personal to the victim and we have been working hard to reverse that trend.

“The force has re-focussed resources on Operation Guardian. In the last 12 months, officers executed 1,738 warrants, made 636 arrests relating to house burglaries and 420 arrests relating to vehicle crime.

“Figures show that in the last 12 months, 21 per cent of burglaries occurred by offenders gaining entry through an unlocked door or open window.

“These types of offences are preventable. A campaign has been launched to target hot spot areas across the county to encourage people to take some simple steps to make life harder for thieves.”

Corby

Across Corby, crime fell by 12 per cent.

This equates to 645 fewer victims of crime in Corby.

A breakdown of the crime figures shows:

Violence – Down from 1,348 to 1,076 offences (-20.2 per cent)

Sexual offences – Up from 66 to 75 offences (13.6 per cent)

Residential burglary – Down from 250 to 218 offences (-12.8 per cent)

Robbery – Down from 60 to 49 offences (-18.3 per cent)

Vehicle crime – Up from 319 to 335 offences (5.0 per cent)

Criminal damage – Down from 1,074 to 900 offences (-16.2 per cent)

Drugs offences – Down from 289 to 182 offences (-37 per cent)

Inspector Carl Sturman, from the Corby sector, said: “I joined the sector in late 2012 picking up the mantle from the retiring Inspector Williams. Corby has had an excellent year with significant reductions in key areas with overall crime falling by 12 per cent. The community partnership has worked together to deliver these reductions and responded to the community priorities.

“However, increases in sexual offences and vehicle crime although low numbers, 16 and nine respectively, is disappointing and plans will be developed further with this in mind. The overall picture for Corby is very positive and will continue into 2014 through strong partnership working and dedicated policing.”

Kettering

Across Kettering, crime went up by 5.2 per cent.

In 2011-12 there were 6,122 crimes, in 2012-13 there were 6,443 crime.

A breakdown of the crime figures shows:

Violence – Down from 1,396 to 1,327 offences (-0.5 per cent)

Sexual offences – Up from 95 to 111 offences (16.8 per cent)

Residential burglary – Up from 292 to 470 offences (61 per cent)

Robbery – Down from 83 to 65 offences (-21.7 per cent)

Vehicle crime – Up from 483 to 574 offences (18.8 per cent)

Criminal damage – Down from 1,182 to 1,180 offences (-0.2 per cent)

Drugs offences – Up from 201 to 237 offences (17.9 per cent)

Inspector Matt Wright, from the Kettering sector, said: It has been disappointing to see a rise in crime in Kettering and officers and staff have worked hard and will continue to do so to bring crime down and offenders to justice. “We have faced some challenges in reducing burglary and vehicle crime, however we have put in place a number of plans, which will help in the forthcoming months to target those offenders who are committing these offences.

“A recent police operation saw the arrest of 39 key offenders in the area and the closure of a licensed premise that will go a long way to ensure the new performance year starts on a positive note.

“It’s pleasing to see the reduction of 4.9 per cent in violent crime across the sector, meaning fewer victims which is a good achievement.

“We will work with partners and the community to develop our plans to achieve reductions in line with the Commissioners policing plan for the forthcoming performance year.”

East Northants

Across East Northants, crime fell by 12.2 per cent.

This equates to 517 fewer victims of crime in East Northants.

A breakdown of the crime figures shows:

Violence – Down from 757 to 594 offences (-21.5 per cent)

Sexual offences – No change with 47 offences committed both years

Residential burglary – Up from 168 to 233 offences (38.7 per cent)

Robbery – Down from 31 to 28 offences (-9.7 per cent)

Vehicle crime – Down 508 to 491 offfences (-3.3 per cent)

Criminal damage – Down from 1,028 to 825 offences (-19.7 per cent)

Drugs offences – Up from 132 to 148 offences (12.1 per cent)

Inspector Ali Rae, from the East Northants sector, said: “My team, together with our partners, have worked extremely well together this year and I am pleased with the significant overall crime reduction that has resulted from this.

“This is the lowest number of crimes that have been recorded on East Northants since modern crime recording began. This area is a safe place to live and work.

“There is however still work to do and with the support of the police and crime commissioner and the public we will be concentrating our efforts in targeting those individuals who commit crime, in particular in areas like burglary and drugs offences. I would encourage the public to help us by calling us if they see anything suspicious whilst out and about or in their village.”

Wellingborough

Across Wellingborough, crime fell by 6.2 per cent.

This equates to 364 fewer victims of crime in Wellingborough.

A breakdown of the crime figures shows:

Violence – Down from 1,106 to 921 offences (-16.7 per cent)

Sexual offences – Up from 85 to 91 offences (7.1 per cent)

Residential burglary – Up from 283 to 411 offences (45.2 per cent)

Robbery – Down from 116 to 91 offences (-21.6 per cent)

Vehicle crime – Up from 502 to 562 offences (12 per cent)

Criminal damage – Down from 1,206 to 1,024 offences (-15.1 per cent)

Drugs offences – Down from 259 to 194 offences (-25.1 per cent)

Inspector Pauline Sturman, from the Wellingborough Sector, said: “”We have had good reductions around violent crime through ongoing work with Operation Challenge and active intervention with our prolific offenders.

“Plans are in place for the forthcoming year, targeting those who are committing burglary and vehicle crime, including preventative work in potential crime locations.

“We have already started with a number of pro-active days, focusing on targeting known individuals and as a result we have been able to detect 90 vehicle related crimes. We will continue to carry out these pro-active days to further reduce crime.”