CRIME in Dorchester is down across almost all areas, the head of the town’s police force has reported.

In a report sent to the town council Inspector Steve Marsh of Dorchester Police said that the latest figures for the town showed an overall reduction of nine per cent from the same time last year, with 58 less victims of crime.

He said: “We continue to see reductions in domestic and commercial burglary although the town has recently seen two of its licensed premises broken into overnight.

“This is believed to be part of a series of offences across west and north Dorset where suspects have broken into pubs overnight targeting cash and jewellery.”

Insp Marsh said thefts from motor vehicles had also reduced, which he hoped was in some part down to increased crime prevention work as well as the arrest of a family from Hampshire for conspiracy to commit theft.

He said: “It is thought that this family was responsible for huge numbers of thefts across Dorset and South West England.”

Insp Marsh said he was also pleased to see that, following a concerted effort by the local crime prevention panel and safer neighbourhood officers, shed break-ins were also down.

He said: “This is a particularly difficult crime to detect and any reductions are good news.”

One issue the police are currently facing in the town is anti-social behaviour, particularly at hotspots such as the Borough Gardens, which is often a problem at this time of year.

He said: “Borough Gardens do, however, appear to be quiet the majority of the time and we have a good working relationship with the teaam based there.

“Two local youths have been issued banning orders on behalf of town council and we continue to support staff if and when those concerned try and enter the park.

“Regular foot patrols continue and so far the events that have taken place in the park have all proved to be successful and without incident.”

Insp Marsh said the only area where crime had increased was in the number of assaults, both domestic and non-domestic.

He said: “These assaults are generally common assaults and split both in the home and in public places.

“We have carried out some analysis and as I have stated before we do not have a particular problem area or hot spot in town regarding assaults.

“I am working with colleagues to ensure that all primary investigation of such assaults is monitored by a supervisor and this issue is now a section priority.”

New officers on beat

INSP Marsh also told the town council that he was pleased to report that three local special constables and one PSCO had been successful in the challenging process of becoming regular police officers.

He said: “The specials in particular have provided the town with many hours of unpaid support and fully deserve their success.

“For two it has been a long-term aspiration to become regular officers and I hope that I can try and cling on to them as regulars!”