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‘Connected communities and quality policing’ lead to another drop in crime

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has paid tribute to a combination of neighbourhood policing, work to reduce reoffending and community connectivity which have delivered another significant drop in crime in her force area.

Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer and Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez

Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures out today show Devon and Cornwall is now the second safest police area of 43 in England and Wales.

The report for the 12 months to the end of December 2019 shows recorded crime continued to fall across the two counties for the second consecutive quarter. Overall, crime was down 3% on the same period a year earlier.

There were 58 crimes per 1,000 residents of the force area in 2019, less than half as many as the force with the highest rate. Devon and Cornwall Police was one of only five forces to see a fall in recorded crime over the period.

Commissioner Alison Hernandez said the reduction was a result of multiple organisations pulling in the same direction.

“In recent years the force has improved its position to almost make it to the top overall in England and Wales, making it one of the lowest levels of recorded crime in the country,” she said.

“Our work with prisons to reduce offending, the way we better support victims of crime, our community’s involvement in safeguarding themselves with schemes like street pastors and Operation Encompass, which provides support to children affected by domestic violence, all complement the good policing led by Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer and highlighted by external inspections over the past few years.

“It is great to get recognised for such crime fighting efforts in official data, as well as through accolades such as the internationally recognised World Class Policing award the force received recently.

“That is positive news for our communities and for the prospects for our economy after the coronavirus lockdown, as more people and businesses will be drawn to live, study and work in prosperous and safe parts of the country.

“However, we cannot be complacent. The number of possession of weapons and drug offences rose in this latest set of figures due to proactive policing techniques such as stop and search. I will be pressing ahead with the Chief Constable on our proposals for a violence prevention centre to further tackle this problem.

“I am also keen that police and partners have a renewed focus on the daily issues like antisocial behaviour and vandalism that make life less pleasant for the vast majority of law abiding people. So please take the time to report what you see or experience so we can be clear what is happening in our communities and we can tackle it together.

“Our ambition has to be for us to take number one spot, as every crime matters to our communities.”