Crime levels continue to fall in Thames Valley

19 January 2012, 1:01 pm

Annual crime statistics released by the Home Office this morning (19/1), show the overall level of crime in the Thames Valley area has fallen by more than 11 per cent, the second largest reduction in England and Wales.

The National Crime Statistics for October 2010 to September 2011, shows there were 19,873 fewer crimes in the Thames Valley area compared with the same period in 2009/10.

In 2010/11 there were 159,496 offences recorded within the Force area, which serves more than two million people, compared to 179,496 during the same period in 2009/10 – a fall of 11.1 per cent, which is higher than the national average of four per cent.

Data compiled for the British Crime Survey, which interviewed people across the country about their views on policing and crime, has also been released today which shows that 61.6 per cent of those asked in the Thames Valley felt the Force was dealing with crime and anti-social behaviour issues that mattered to the local communities. This is a significant improvement on the previous year’s result and is clear recognition of the Force’s continued commitment to neighbourhood policing.

In the Thames Valley area, the number of violent crimes, sexual offences, robberies and drug offences all decreased in 2010/11, and at a higher rate than the national average.

Violence against the person with injury offences in Thames Valley fell by 24.7 per cent and those without injury decreased by 19 per cent. These reductions were the largest and second largest respectively in the country.

The number of sexual offences recorded fell by 13.8 per cent, compared to the national average which saw an overall reduction of 1.2 per cent.

Robbery offences fell by 4.1 per cent, compared to a national average of a 3.9 per cent rise.

Domestic burglaries fell by 3.8 per cent, which was slightly under the national average decrease of 4.3 per cent, while all other burglary offences fell by 1.7 per cent in the Thames Valley compared to a national average rise of 0.4 per cent.

Offences against vehicles (including theft of vehicles and vehicle interference) fell by 21.5 per cent, compared to a national average decrease of 7.9 per cent.

The number of criminal damage offences fell by almost 4,000 offences in 2010/11, a decrease of 14.4 per cent, which compares to a national average decrease of 10.8 per cent.

The number of drug offences has also fallen by 2.9 per cent, compared to a national average of a 1.4 per cent fall, while incidents of fraud and forgery declined by 2,610 offences from 10,918 in 2009/10 to 8,308 in 2010/11, a decrease of 23.9 per cent. The national average was a decline of 4.8 per cent.

The number of offences in the ‘other’ category decreased by 9.6 per cent overall. This category includes offences such as incidents against the state (including affray), public health offences (including fly-tipping), going equipped to steal and handling stolen goods.

The only area where Thames Valley Police has experienced an increase in offences is in the other theft offences category, which has seen an increase of 1.7 per cent, or 801 more offences, from 45,887 to 46,688.

Chief Constable Sara Thornton said: “I am extremely proud of the work that has been done by the officers and staff of Thames Valley Police, which has led to one of the largest reductions in crime of any Force area in the country.

“These figures not only show that the overall level of crime is down, but that the more serious categories of crime, including violent crime and sexual offences, have seen significant reductions.”

Thames Valley Police Authority chairman, Khan Juna, said: “I am pleased to see that the good work being undertaken by the Force to address our joint priority, to cut crime, is delivering positive results that will be of direct benefit to our communities, and that this tremendous reduction in crime has been independently acknowledged by the Home Office.

“Nevertheless, the Police Authority will continue to both support and challenge Thames Valley Police to maintain this rate of improvement, which we are confident they have the will and ability to achieve.”