Crime is continuing to fall in Cheshire.
According to data released by the Office of National Statistics today (Thursday 21st January), Cheshire Constabulary recorded the fifth largest reduction in crime across England and Wales – and is only one of two forces in the North West to see a fall in figures.
For the 12 months ending September 2015 there has been an overall reduction in crime of 1% – meaning 584 fewer crimes – compared to the previous 12-month period.
Cheshire is one of just nine forces across England and Wales to experience any kind of reduction and has the lowest crime rates in the North West region.
It has also seen the biggest reduction in recorded burglary offences in England and Wales (-19%) – compared to a national average of (-6%).
It closely reflects the results released three and six months earlier (ending June and March 2015) – reflecting a consistent reduction in crime across the county. It also means that crime levels in the county continue to be at their lowest for the past 25 years.
DCC Janette McCormick said: “Cheshire once again continues to see a reduction in crimes reported meaning fewer victims and greater confidence that we are delivering on our service commitments to local residents. ‘We’re Here’ for local people and I hope these latest figures provide further reassurance that we take all reports of crime seriously, ensure that each is dealt with appropriately, provide victims with the best possible support and work to reduce crime in our communities.
“This is great news for the Force and recognises the hard work and achievements of officers and staff who are committed to making Cheshire an even safer place to live.”
There have been further significant reductions in what are known as acquisitive crimes – vehicle offences (-17%), theft (-12%) and robbery (-5%). Drug offences have also declined (-3%) along with criminal damage (-2%).
There has been no increase in the most serious violent crimes – however violence against the person has seen an increase (+19%).
Sexual offences have also risen - though this is in part down to victims being increasingly confident in reporting these types of crimes.
Cheshire Constabulary continues to raise awareness of the issue and encourage victims who have been affected by this type of crime to come forward - highlighting the work of the Dedicated Rape Unit (a specialist team of 31 officers who are responsible for investigating rape and sexual offences and providing vital support to victims – alongside support services).
The release of the latest crime figures today comes almost seven months after the Force’s new operating model of eight Local Policing Units, supported centrally by a proactive Task Force, was launched.
The work of the Task Force has been complemented by a number of high-profile operations targeting drug related activity, cross-border crime and, more recently, over the festive period when Operation Blue Christmas featured a range of crime prevention messages, safety advice and operational activity based around a number of key themes.
It also comes on the back of Cheshire Constabulary being rated as outstanding for ‘efficiency’ by Her Majesty′s Inspector of Constabulary - one of only a handful of police forces across the country to achieve this rating.
The report focused on how efficient Cheshire Constabulary is at keeping people safe and reducing crime and concluded that Cheshire is ‘exceptionally well prepared to face its future financial challenges’.
John Dwyer, Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said: “Once again Cheshire is seeing the results of the fantastic work of the officers, staff and volunteers of the Constabulary. It is positive to see that crimes that affect people in their own homes, where they should feel safe, such as burglary have again fallen, this time by an incredible 19% and crimes that affect the business community such as robbery have also fallen. I will be continuing to work with the Chief Constable to ensure that this positive performance continues and that Cheshire has a Constabulary that is there for its communities when and where it is needed.”