By Ian Dipple 27/07 Updated: 30/07 09:59
BURGLARY across Redditch has fallen to a new low as latest figures reveal crime is down across the borough.
Over the last five years household break-ins have fallen by over a third with 230 reports in the 12 months to April this year compared with 349 in 2008. Commercial burglaries are also down from 366 to 262 reports over the same period.
Drug, vehicle, robbery and violent offences are also all down with the number of crimes relating to the town's nightime economy at a four year low.
But there are some areas of concern for police including the fact fraud and forgery is up 160 per cent over the five year period from 134 to 350 reports and there were also 1,599 recorded thefts, up almost a fifth on 2008.
There was also a slight increase in sexual offences in the last 12 months compared to 2010/11 up from 126 to 134. The figures were released by the Office of National Statistics and show overall Redditch is a safer place to live than it was five years ago.
Redditch District Inspector Ian Joseph welcomed the figures but said there would be no complacency from his officers. He attributed the surge in fraud and forgery to a rise in online identify theft and added the increase in sexual offences may be because victims were more confident about reporting crimes to police but through the recently launched Safe Night Out Campaign they were working hard to get the figure down.
He added the theft figures could be affected by 'bulk' offences such as a Studley man awaiting trial for stealing more than 600 drain covers in the area.
On the falling number of burglaries he said it was a testament to the concerted effort officers had made both forcewide and locally to make targeting break-ins a priority, supported by tough sentences from the courts.
"This is in no small part due to the way in which the police have worked with other agencies and in particular the borough council to provide crime reduction advice and supply property marking kits to victims. Despite the current challenging financial climate that effort continues," he said.
"While overall more positives than negatives can be drawn from the crime figures people can be assured that far from sitting back on our laurels we will be working harder than ever to ensure the safety of our communities and bring offenders to justice."
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