CRIME in Wiltshire is on the decrease, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The amount of crime being committed in the county fell by 7.3 – meaning 3,300 fewer victims of crime - over the period of September 2012 to September 2013 in comparison with the year before.
Chief Constable Pat Geenty said: “Recently there has been much debate about the validity of police crime statistics and I appreciate that this would be a matter of concern to the public.
“I am confident that Wiltshire has an authentic performance management system which includes scrutiny of data integrity, measurement and recording practices. We have also instigated a performance culture review to ensure that we understand how strategic performance aims affect officers on the front line."
Nationally there has been 4.5 per cent reduction in overall crime, and Wiltshire is is the sixth lowest nationally for overall crime, fourth lowest for dwelling burglaries and sixth lowest for robbery. The county has seen a 19 per cent increase in drug crime, which the force says is down to its targeted strategy of cutting down on drugs offences through Operation Harness.
There has been a small reduction of 0.7 per cent in crimes of violence against the person while sexual offences have increased by 12.2 per cent, which the force says is due to changes in recording practices and to high profile cases with multiple victims during the reporting period. Nationally, there has been a 17 per cent increase in reported sexual offences.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: “I am pleased that there have been 3,300 fewer victims of crime in our area and that there is now a stable downward trend in terms of overall crime.”
During Mr Macpherson’s Victims’ Voice consultations in February and March, he will be asking victims about their experience of reporting crime and how confident they felt that the offence was accurately recorded.