Overall crime in Dorset drops - but more sex offences reported

FIGURES WELCOME: Martyn Underhill

FIGURES WELCOME: Martyn Underhill

First published in News

DORSET Police has recorded a 5.9 per cent decrease in overall crime in the last year according to the latest figures for police forces across the country released by the Office of National Statistics.

And the force revealed the Jimmy Savile scandal and cases involving other high profile individuals had led to more sexual offences being reported.

The drop in overall crime saw 37,212 recorded offences in Dorset between April 2013 and March 2014 compared to 39,525 the previous year, a reduction of 2,313 crimes.

Dwelling burglary has seen a decrease of 9.0 per cent, with the number of crimes falling from 1,899 to 1,715.

Vehicle crime has fallen by 15.8 per cent, with 4,204 recorded offences compared to 4,992 last year, and serious violent crime has decreased by 4.7 per cent.

There was an increase in sexual offences with 33 more crimes being reported, an rise of 5.8 per cent.

Assistant Chief Constable David Lewis said: “I am delighted that crime continues to fall across the county.

“These figures show that there were 2,313 fewer crimes reported to Dorset Police between April and March 2013/14 compared to the same period last year.

“We continue to work together with local communities and other public services to make Dorset safer, and it is by working in close partnership that we have been able to achieve this reduction in crime.

“Despite these encouraging statistics we are not complacent, and there are challenges that the Force is working to overcome as we head towards 2015.

“There were 33 more serious sexual offences compared to the same period last year. Although this shows that victims have greater confidence in reporting these offences to us, we remain focused in our response to prosecute offenders and ensure that victims have the best possible support.

“Cyber-crime also presents a new and growing challenge, with criminals using technology to commit offences. We have developed plans to respond to this threat in Dorset and across borders with other forces in the south west and the rest of the country.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “The continued long term fall in overall crime is welcome, building on the reductions we have seen over the last decade and more.

“This report shows that Dorset Police are working hard to cut crime and keep our communities safe. It is especially encouraging to see significant decreases in dwelling burglaries and vehicle crime, which can have a negative impact on communities.

“The increase in sexual offences suggests that recent cases involving Jimmy Savile and other high profile individuals, has encouraged more victims to come forward to report abuse. We have dedicated support in Dorset which will ensure that these victims are supported through the criminal justice process.”

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