Fall in crime welcomed by police chiefs

Northamptonshire Police has welcomed a fall in recorded crime across the county
Northamptonshire Police has welcomed a fall in recorded crime across the county
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Northamptonshire Police has welcomed a fall in recorded crime across the county.

Figures released last week by the force showed recorded crime had fallen overall in Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough and East Northants.

The statistics suggested a fall of almost 13 per cent in Kettering in the year to the end of March compared with 2012/13 – the equivalent of 813 fewer offences. In Wellingborough, crime was down by 11.5 per cent in the same period, with reductions of just over eight per cent in both East Northants and Corby.

In terms of recorded crime, the number of incidents of vehicle crime is down more than 21 per cent, the number of burglaries has fallen by about 15 per cent and the violent crime rate has been cut by 11 per cent in the past year.

But the number of drug trafficking offences has leapt 15 per cent, while there was a six per cent rise in the number of drug possession offences.

Meanwhile, figures released this week have also shown a rise in the number of resolved crimes in the county.

In total in 2013/14, 29.7 per cent of crimes were resolved, a rise of 3.6 percentage points since the previous year.

Only one in seven burglaries in Northamptonshire was successfully resolved in the past 12 months, but that represents a significant improvement since the previous year, when just one in 12 was resolved.

There was also a significant increase in the number of vehicle crime offences successfully resolved.

Chief Constable Adrian Lee said he was pleased with the figures.

He said: “We were given the challenge of reducing violence in Northamptonshire by 40 per cent and have reached 21.6 per cent in the past two years, something that has involved a lot of hard work from all officers and staff in all parts of the county.

“Policing is going through a difficult period nationally and I am pleased to see that in Northamptonshire we have been able to concentrate on the task at hand and significantly reduce crime.

“We have made a significant improvement this year but there is more to do if we want to be the safest place in the country.”

Police commissioner Adam Simmonds welcomed the reduction in crime.

He said: “The force has worked extremely hard over the past 12 months to ensure fewer victims of crime and I must commend every officer and staff member for their contribution to that effort.

“The organisation has been through a significant period of change with ever-increasing pressure on police resources and to achieve such a large reduction in crime is something to be applauded.

“Having said that, we still have a lot to do to, while at the same time needing to cut a further £23m from our budget over the next five years.”

However, the crime figures were greeted with some scepticism on the Northants Telegraph’s Facebook page.

Ruth Hickey said: “People trust the police so little now that they don’t bother reporting. Certainly, living in Kettering, I feel less safe now than I did a year ago.”

Wendy Newton agreed, saying many people did not bother reporting crime.