Posted on 9th April 2015
Recorded crime in Derbyshire has fallen again following a slight increase in offences during 2013/14.
The latest statistics, which reveal the end-of-year figures for the force, show that crime fell by 1.5 per cent compared to 2013/14, dropping from 52,479 to 51,687. This means there were792 fewer victims of crime. House burglaries fell by 6.6 per cent from 2,906 to 2,714 while robbery fell by just over 18 per cent from 629 to 515.
There has been a rise in violent crimes, reflecting an increasing trend nationally. In Derbyshire, this type of crime rose by 9.3 per cent from 9,177 to 10,033. This is made up of 3,939 offences of ‘violence without injury,’ where the victim was not hurt, such as incidents of common assault, stalking and making threats.
Shoplifting rose by 6.9 per cent, increasing from 5,778 to 6,176 crimes. This type of theft has risen over the last five years and in 2014/15, represented 12 per cent of all crimes reported to Derbyshire police. Just over one in every eight crimes reported to the force was an offence of shoplifting.
Chief Constable Mick Creedon said: “There were almost 800 fewer victims of crime in Derbyshire over the past year, which is great news. Although shoplifting has increased again, this is the first year that the trend has begun to slow and I encourage shops, particularly the big retailers, to work with us to try and prevent this offending. I’m pleased to see a rise in the number of people reporting sexual offences and domestic violence, and many of the sexual offences we are told about happened months and even years ago – again I encourage victims to have the confidence to speak out and not suffer in silence. These crimes have historically been underreported and it’s encouraging to see that victims feel confident in coming forward.”
Mr Creedon said although the reduction in crimes such as burglary and robbery is pleasing, the 52,000 crimes do not represent the full range of offending in the county. He added: “Recorded crime is generally what the public come forward and tell us about and is only a part of the crimes we investigate in Derbyshire.
“These figures are defined by a national standard, which is not our standard. They properly reflect low level criminal damage and theft of a tiny value, but don’t for example include a drunk driver, uninsured, speeding the wrong way down a one way street outside a school talking on a mobile phone – committing numerous offences but none of them are ‘recorded’ in the statistics. The figures don’t properly reflect the more complex offences we deal with, such as drug trafficking, slavery, child abuse and child grooming and sexual exploitation.”
Alongside the reduction in crime, Derbyshire residents have maintained a high level of confidence in the force. In the latest information published by the Crime Survey of England and Wales, 77 per cent of people asked said that they had confidence in the county’s police.
Mr Creedon said: “We continually work to improve levels of public confidence and satisfaction and our aim is to always provide the best service possible within the resources we have available. We have lost more than 500 officers and staff and will lose the same again over the next four years of austerity and it is increasingly difficult to service all the demands we face. Recent work by the College of Policing shows that less than 20 per cent of police time is spent ‘fighting and responding to crime’ and the vast other demands we have to deal with are sometimes just as important and ask a lot of our officers and staff.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles said: “Whilst the crimes that the Government uses for their statistics are falling – which, like any fall in crime, is welcome – they don’t take into account huge issues such as digital crime, fraud and cyber-crime. People are now significantly more likely to become a victim of this type of crime than the more ‘traditional’ problems such as burglary and vehicle crime.
“Technology based ‘modern’ crime is growing rapidly and is complex to investigate, a situation aggravated by falling resources, which makes it more difficult to resolve to the satisfaction of the victim.
“That said, the force’s performance over the last 12 months, evidenced by these figures, illustrates the commitment and hard work put in by our officers and staff, under some exemplary leadership. Crime has fallen in the toughest circumstances and once again they have risen to the task, but I am clear, we cannot keep putting more pressure on an ever-decreasing number.”