Northamptonshire Police hail 13 per cent fall in crime in the county

Northamptonshire Police's Wootton Hall HQ
Northamptonshire Police's Wootton Hall HQ

Police have welcomed figures which suggest crime in the county fell by more than 13 per cent over the last 12 months.

The Northamptonshire Police statistics, which relate to recorded crime, show there were almost 41,000 offences in the 12 months to the end of March, a reduction of more than 6,000 on 2012-13.

Police and crime commissioner Adam Simmonds pictured at Police HQ, Wootton Hall. ENGNNL00120131211151641

Police and crime commissioner Adam Simmonds pictured at Police HQ, Wootton Hall. ENGNNL00120131211151641

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.

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

Chief Constable Adrian Lee said those increases were a reflection of the force’s targeting of organised crime in Northamptonshire, which had resulted in more drugs being found.

He added: “We were given the challenge of reducing violence in Northamptonshire by 40 per cent and have reached 21.6 per cent in the last two years, something that has involved a lot of hard work from all officers and staff in all parts of the county. We have seen reductions in alcohol-related violence, youth violence and domestic violence.

“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.

“It is rewarding to see that we have had a reduction in crime across the board, from violence, to burglary to vehicle crime and sexual offences.

“Our focus has to remain on reducing and solving crime and that is what my officers and staff will do over the coming 12 months.

“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 (above) said he is pleased with the reduction in crime but warned there is more to do.

He said: “The force has worked extremely hard over the last 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 £23 million from our budget over the next five years.”

“That means there will have to be further changes within the force and how we do things. We can not expect to continue to be able to do everything the same way as we do now.

“We have to look at what we do and how and why we do it, to see if we can make improvements while continuing to reduce crime and maintain the number of police officers I believe is necessary for the county. That also means we have to look at further collaboration within the East Midlands and with colleagues in the fire service.”

The force says there are five per cent more officers in front-line roles than there were 12 months ago, and that special constables have completed an additional 25,000 hours of policing in 2013-14 compared to the previous year.

Survey results also show 85 per cent of people questioned are confident Northamptonshire Police are dealing with local concerns.

Number of crimes in Northamptonshire in 2013-14 (2012-13 figures in brackets):

Violence 7,368 (down 919 since 2012-13)

Burglary 2,706 (down 471)

Vehicle Crime 4,084 (down 1,120)

Rape 274 (up three)

Sexual Offences 495 (down 27)

Drug Tafficking 329 (up 44)

Drug Possession 1,500 (up 81)

Shoplifting 4,386 (down 153)

Fraud 0 (fraud figures now recorded nationally. 1,428 in 2012-13)

Bicycle Theft 886 (down 157)

Criminal Damage 6,727 (down 1,124)

Possession of Weapons 253 (up 18)

Public Disorder 920 (down 91)

Theft 800 (down 380)