The annual crime statistics, released by the Home Office today, reveal that all crime in Wiltshire has fallen by a further 3% in 2010/11 ensuring the county continues to remain one of the safest in the country in which to live, work and to visit.
This fall is largely due to a significant decrease in offences of violence, which have fallen more than twice the national average (by 13.6% compared to a national average drop of 5.5%).
Wiltshire is one of the top five forces in England which have the lowest number of crimes per 1,000 of the population (Wiltshire is 5th) and the county is placed 6th in the country for offences of violence against the person, per 1,000 of the population.
Other key highlights include:
- A decrease in the number of incidents of criminal damage compared to 2009/10; down by nearly 15%
- A 5% decrease across the county in the number of domestic burglaries. This translates to only six burglaries for every 1000 households across Swindon and Wiltshire, which places the county seventh in the country for this type of offence
- A 2% reduction in sex offences
- A rating of first in the country for the lowest number of drug offences recorded per 1,000 of the population. According to the British Crime Survey, Wiltshire is third best among English forces for residents’ perception of drug use being a problem
While ASB offences are not included in the statistics released today, Wiltshire has recorded an 8% fall in incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB). The British Crime Survey also highlights that the perception of ASB as being a problem in Wiltshire is now the second lowest in England (7% better than the national average).
However, robberies have increased by nearly 21% compared to 2009/10. The actual number of offences was 308, equating to 53 more victims. A proportion of these offences involve young people taking mobile phones from one another.
While domestic burglaries have fallen, there has been a rise in burglaries at commercial premises compared to 2009/10 and a slight increase in offences against vehicles, with 63 more crimes reported in the last year. In relation to the latter, a number of these offences are due to people leaving valuable items on display in their vehicles.
Taking these increases into account, the overall picture still remains a very positive one, with crime levels in Swindon and Wiltshire having fallen by 15% over the last three years.
Wiltshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable, Mike Veale, said: “As these figures indicate, crime continues to fall in Wiltshire. There has been a significant drop in the number of violence offences.
“However, we are not complacent and will continue to work with our partners to tackle issues concerning the night-time economy and particularly the irresponsible sale of alcohol, which we know is a factor in violent crime.
“We’ve also increased the number of Special Constables over the last year, who are now supporting officers and staff in town centres at peak times when people are socialising.”
ACC Veale added: “We will continue to focus on targeting serious and prolific offenders and tackling those who prey on the most vulnerable.
“Our continuing use of new technology to deliver effective policing, including Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and the Police National Database (PND) give us the tools to help us prevent and reduce crime.”