● Biggest drop in crime in England and Wales
● Fourth successive fall
● Fraud down 43%
● Robbery down 31%
● Burglary down 22%
GWENT Police posted the biggest drop in recorded crime in England and Wales during the year to June, new figures show, with an 18 per cent overall reduction.
The fall of more than 8,000 incidents compared to the year to June 2011, is the equivalent of 21 fewer crimes every day.
Gwent is among the leading forces in reducing crimes such as violence, robbery, burglary, fraud and forgery, and theft.
However drug offences continue to rise, with a 19 per cent increase in Gwent, the second highest of the 43 police forces in England and Wales.
This is the fourth quarter in a row in which the Gwent force area has seen the biggest or joint biggest fall in overall crime, year-on-year.
The figures, issued by the Home Office, show reductions across a range of crimes, with 36,499 crimes committed, compared to 44,294 in the 12 months to June 2011.
Gwent Assistant Chief Constable Simon Prince, said the figures are “another endorsement of our flexible and innovative approach to tackling crime” that has a strong emphasis on neighbourhood policing and education of the general public on crime prevention.
Gwent also recorded the biggest drop in England and Wales in offences of criminal damage, and car theft and other offences against vehicles.
The increase in recorded drugs offences is worrying, but Mr Prince said this is an indicator that police operations, using information provided by the public, are having an effect.
“If people continue to provide us with information we will continue to a identify, arrest and put drug dealers in front of the courts,” said Mr Prince.
“I’m conscious that the figures will be of little comfort to those who have been victims of crime or anti-social behaviour.
“However would like to reassure those people who have been affected by crime, we are on your side, and we will continue to work hard to target criminals.
“I stick to the assertion that I have made previously that every Gwent resident has the right to feel safe, and be safe, in their community.”
Chief pays tribute to officers
THE fall in recorded crime is a tribute to the hard work of officers and staff, and to people’s efforts on prevention and reporting wrongdoers, says Assistant Chief Constable Prince.
He highlighted the system of Neighbourhood Policing Teams and extra police community support officers (PCSOs) as having enabled Gwent Police to maintain a regular and visible presence on the area’s streets.
“People like to see officers they know and trust and they start to build up relationships with them,” he said. “In addition to the police and partner agencies, Gwent residents must again take credit for this improved performance. More and more residents are providing us with information about the small minority of people who commit crimes in our communities and we are then able to take action.”
He added that a drop in anti-social behaviour has also been recorded across Gwent, with around 8,000 fewer reported incidents in the year to June.
“I’m very proud of the performance of Gwent officers and staff, but given the budget reductions we are facing, their hard work and dedication is even more impressive.”
THE latest figures indicate that, across Gwent:
● Burglary was down 22 per cent (1,448 fewer offences);
● Robbery was down 31 per cent (60 fewer victims);
● Vehicle crime was down 31 per cent (1,860 fewer offences);
● Criminal damage was down 21 per cent (1,816 fewer offences);
● Violence against the person was down 17 per cent (1,361 fewer offences);
● There was a 10 per cent drop in reported sexual offences, a 43 per cent drop in fraud and forgery, and a 15 per cent drop in offences categorised as ‘other’.
COMMENT: In praise of our police
SOMETHING is going very right with policing in Gwent and, in our view, it is definitely worth shouting about.
We are talking of course about the 18 per cent fall in recorded crime in Gwent, revealed in the latest Home Office figures.
In fact, Gwent Police posted the biggest drop in recorded crime in England and Wales during the year to June.
That is an incredible achievement and, given that it is one which comes on the back of other successes, is doubly impressive.
This is the fourth quarter in a row in which the Gwent force has seen the biggest, or joint biggest, fall in overall crime year-on-year.
Gwent Police focus very much on what they term neighbourhood policing.
In other words the police officers in any given area are visible in the community, become well known and are contactable. They also help educate about crime prevention.
In many areas partnerships have been forged with other organisations so people from different walks of life can all contribute to the wider aim of creating safer communities.
That also seems to be a winning formula.
There are concerns of course, such as the rise in drug offences. But today let us concentrate on the many positives.
Crime is down by thousands of incidents a year – good news for us all. Gwent Police deserve to be commended.