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Crime figures across Wiltshire have returned to pre covid levels in line with police forces nationally.
Wiltshire has seen a year on year increase of 10.5 per cent from the period July 2020 to June 2021, and July 2021 to June 2022. This has returned volumes close to pre covid levels - a trend which is in line with other police forces nationally.
However, rates of residential burglary in the Wiltshire force area are showing a 19.7 per cent increase, with a similar increase reported across other south west regional forces.
Wiltshire Police has recently announced they have joined a national pledge to make personal visits to all victims of domestic burglary.
Prior to the pledge, officers were attending approximately 90 per cent of all reported residential burglaries, to meet with victims, secure potential evidence and provide vital reassurance.
Assistant Chief Constable Dave Minty said: “We fully recognise the profound impact that a burglary can have on victims and that is why we have joined the national pledge to meet every victim of these crimes. Your home should be your safe haven and to have somebody violate your home can have a long lasting impact and can feel incredibly upsetting and unsettling.
“These latest figures show why it is more important than ever that we ensure our officers are attending reports of burglary at the earliest opportunity, not only to provide reassurance to victims, but to increase the chance of preserving potential evidence to support a prosecution and ensure criminals are put before the courts.”
The statistics also show a decrease in crimes where a knife has been used of six percent between June 22 and June 21, but an increase in crime involving the possession of a knife of 48 per cent.
ACC Minty added: “As an organisation we will continue to work closely with our partner agencies and the Police and Crime Commissioner, to make improvements in better educating the public - in particular, young people - of the dangers of carrying a knife, and the harm they could inflict on others.
“Young people hear about it on the news, they talk about it at school, and we know some, because they tell us, would carry a knife for protection.
“However, we know carrying a blade means you are more likely to find yourself in a situation where you could get seriously injured or even killed.
"We need to get to a position in our communities, within peer groups, and within families where carrying a knife or blade is not just frowned upon, it is seen as completely unacceptable."
Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said: “Now we have seen the first set of annual figures which don’t include a lockdown period, it is no surprise there has been an increase in crime and, in particular, a rise in burglary.
“Wiltshire Police cannot be complacent about this increase, as it is higher compared to similar areas across the country. Its commitment to visit all victims of home burglary is much welcomed to ensure we are tackling this issue head on. Residents need to have confidence this commitment, alongside improved investigations, better victim support and improved evidence gathering, will mean more successful prosecutions.
“Our residents deserve an effective, quality, efficient frontline service – my role, as PCC, is to scrutinise force performance to ensure that happens.”
Mr Wilkinson added: “The increase of possession of a knife or bladed weapon is especially concerning even if actual knife crime has decreased. Carrying a knife can have life-changing consequences for all involved. This issue needs a multi-agency approach and both I, and the force, will be working with our partners to tackle it head-on.”