This was confirmed today (Wednesday 20 April 2011) with the publication of the British Crime Survey (BCS) data and the Home Office Statistical Bulletin ‘Crime in England and Wales: Quarterly Update to December 2010’.
The BCS results were very encouraging for North Yorkshire Police, demonstrating once again that Safer Neighbourhoods policing is making a difference to people’s lives.
They showed that confidence in North Yorkshire Police and local councils to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour has risen from 50.6% to 53.9% since last year. This places the force 12th nationally in England and Wales and first in the Yorkshire and Humber region.
Only 7.6% of people surveyed perceived a high level of anti-social behaviour, which again places the force in the top 10 (5th) nationally and the lowest in the Yorkshire and Humber region.
For perceptions of drunk or rowdy behaviour, 17.8% of people thought it was an issue in their community in comparison with the national average of 22.1%. This is the 7th lowest in England and Wales and the lowest in the Yorkshire and Humber Region.
The Home Office Statistical Bulletin showed that overall crime had fallen by 7.3% (3,255 crimes) with a total of 41,338.
Burglary was down by 6.9% (398 crimes to 5,359 in total), with decreases in dwelling burglaries (9.9% or 192 crimes, and 5.2% decrease (206 offences) in non-domestic burglary. A recent rise in burglary cases, particularly in the York area, has been addressed by the high profile Operation Secure.
Theft increased slightly by 0.6% (75 crimes to 12,456 in total). Plans have been put in place to target offenders to ensure a downward trend.
Vehicle crime was down 20.1% (879 offences, with 3,497 in total)
There was a rise in robbery by 9.9%, but this equates to 20 offences with a total of 223.
Criminal damage saw a reduction of 19.7% or 1,869 offences, with a total o 7,620)
There was a decrease in overall violent crimes by 1% (80 crimes, 7,986) of which crimes with injury showed a reduction of 4.7% (204 fewer offences, with 4,142 in total), whilst those violent crimes resulting in no injury, such as public order and harassment, increased by 3.3% or 125 offences, with a total of 3,844.
Sex offences were up by 4.3% (25 more crimes, with 559 in total), of which a high number were historical offences where victims have only recently come forward to the police. Nationally the rate of recording of sexual offences has increased by 2.7%, and this increase is considered to be a positive reflection of victims’ confidence in the police.
Drug offences decreased by 2% during this period (38 fewer crimes, 1,855 in total). However, there has been a recent increase in offences which reflects the proactive police activity to clamp down on drug dealers and producers. This was particularly evident in Selby where Operation Orate saw the closure of a series of cannabis farms in the area.
Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Sue Cross said: “The latest British Crime Survey and Home Office crime bulletin demonstrates the high level of service North Yorkshire Police delivers to our communities, but also outlines the challenges we face in the coming years to maintain and even improve performance.
“It is very satisfying that residents have confidence and trust in Safer Neighbourhoods policing and recognise that we are working hard to tackle the crime and anti-social behaviour issues that matter most to them. The continued support and engagement from residents is absolutely vital to successful policing, and here in North Yorkshire we are very fortunate in that respect. On behalf of colleagues around the county I want to pass on my sincere thanks for this valued support.
“As an organisation that prides itself on year-on-year crime reductions, we are very pleased to report that crime has fallen by 7.3% during this period. To put it into context, this is 3,255 less crimes and the misery that goes with it.
“However, we will never become complacent and I can assure residents that robust action plans are in place to nip the rises that have occurred in the last month or so in the bud.
“I am also confident that the recent operational restructure and the adoption of a new shift system will enhance our capability and capacity to clamp down on crime and anti-social behaviour.”
North Yorkshire Police Authority Chairman, Councillor Jane Kenyon, said “Policing nationally is facing a number of challenges and over the past few years we have used the time available prior to the budget settlement to really scrutinise our key demands and working practices.
“We have had to make some very difficult decisions but we are clear in our commitment to providing the best possible service to the public of North Yorkshire and the City of York.
“We will be concentrating on our new Service Standards and Policing Plan objectives, as well as bedding in the changes to our work regimes to keep this as one of the safest areas in the country.”