3,397 fewer crimes are recorded in nine months
CRIME in Staffordshire is continuing to fall, according to new figures.
There were 3,397 – or seven per cent – fewer crimes across the county between April and December last year compared to the same period in 2011.
That is a reduction from 49,202 crimes to 45,805.
But Staffordshire Police's performance figures – which were discussed yesterday by the county's Police and Crime Panel – reveal a slight increase in certain crimes, including violent crime, robbery and thefts from vehicles.
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The figures reveal;
An 8.4 per cent reduction in house burglaries with 198 fewer crimes;
Twenty more car thefts – a 2.2 per cent increase;
Sixty-three more thefts from vehicles – a 2.4 per cent increase;
Eleven more incidents of violent crime – a 0.2 per cent increase.
Chief Constable Mike Cunningham said: "Reducing violent crime continues to be one of our top operational priorities.
"Our licensing teams are working with partners in all town and city centres to prevent and tackle alcohol-related violence."
The Sentinel revealed last week that a specialist team of detectives has been set up to tackle a 76 per cent rise in reports of rape – 114 more offences – attributed to an increase in victims coming forward in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
The force's detection rate for serious sexual crimes has also fallen to 21.8 per cent – against a target of 31 per cent.
Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis told the panel yesterday: "There is going to be a period of distortion where the detection rate goes down because of this. We are aware that we need to bolster the investigative service around that."
Panel chairman Frank Chapman, a county councillor from Eccleshall, asked if the force's new sexual assault referral centre in Cobridge was coping with the increase.
Mr Ellis added: "It will need extra resources. It is a problem that is in hand."