GWENT Police has reported the largest fall in recorded crime in England and Wales yet again.

New figures have been released for the 12 months to September 2012 show the number of crimes recorded by police fell by 20 per cent compared to the previous 12 months.

There were 8,492 fewer crimes, or around 22 fewer crimes per day.

It is the fifth quarter in a row that Gwent Police has seen the largest or joint largest fall in overall crime, year-on-year.

The only category of crime to see an increase was drug offences, where there was a 12 per cent increase from 2,465 to 2,767.

The largest percentage decrease was seen in fraud and forgery crimes with the number of incidents falling by more than half, from 1,259 to 549.

The number of violent incidents which resulted in injury dropped by 27 per cent from 4,278 to 3,128 crimes, while burglaries fell by a quarter to 4,838 from 6,409.

Offences against vehicles fell by almost a third from 5,602 to 3,867, while 108 fewer sexual offence incidents were recorded; down from 590 to 482.

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Prince attributed the falls to a "relentless focus" on persistent offenders as well as work on neighbourhood policing.

"Their job is to build relationships with people so they are confident to tell them what's going on in their communities," he said.

Mr Prince added: "The more we reduce crime clearly the more challenging that work becomes. We are confident that the next time these figures are published we will see a continued reduction in crime."

Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston said: “The figures published today are welcome news and I congratulate the Chief Constable and her team for their hard work and dedication."

Police records ‘overstate’ crime fall – Statistics office POLICE records across England and Wales are overstating the rate that crime is falling, according to the Office of National Statistics.

The ONS, which is based in Newport and compiled yesterday's crime figures, said police recorded crime in England and Wales fell by 41 per cent since 2002/03.

But the Crime Survey for England and Wales, which records households’ experience of crime, saw a 26 per cent fall over the same period.

The ONS said police records appear to "overstate the true rate in which crime has been falling”.

Mr Prince said he could see was no evidence there was anything the force was doing to paint a false picture.

"We haven't changed any of our processes that would mean that we weren't recording as many crimes as we previous were," he said.

South Wales Argus: Gwent sees biggest fall in crime across England and Wales again