Crime falls again in county

CRIME in Suffolk dropped nearly three per cent year on year, with the biggest decreases being in burglary and violent offences, according to the latest national figures.

CRIME in Suffolk dropped nearly three per cent year-on-year, with the biggest decreases in burglary and violent offences, according to the latest national figures.

In addition, officers in the county solved 3,994 crimes between July and September last year.

The news came as Suffolk was named as one of 18 forces nationally, which had been under-reporting the category of 'serious violent crime' for more than ten years.

Assistant chief constable Gary Kitching put the error down to the complicated guidance given by the Home Office relating to the way the statistics were formulated. Mr Kitching said the fault lay with honest misinterpretation of the rules.

The latest British Crime Survey figures - the government's yardstick of crime - take into account Suffolk's revised total.

They show all violent crime in Suffolk dropped by almost seven per cent, and burglary of homes and other property went down by 4.7 pc and 11.4pc respectively.

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Nearly 300 more crimes were detected in the same three-month period year-on-year.

The biggest rise was in fraud and forgery, a category which went up nearly 10pc.

Nationally, the number of robberies involving knives shot up by nearly a fifth last year, although there was no increase in Suffolk.

The total number of these offences recorded by police in England and Wales rose by 18pc from 3,951 to 4,207 between July and September. The number of murders involving knives also rose, by 10pc, although there were none in Suffolk.

Domestic burglaries were up four per cent, fraud and forgery up 16pc and drug offences up nine per cent.

The overall level of recorded crime was down three per cent, with recorded firearms' offences plummeting by a third.

However, it is the knife crime figures which are likely to cause the most concern.

Murders and other homicides involving knives were up 10pc, and attempted murders up 8pc, on top of the huge increase in knife robberies around the country.

The rises came despite a clampdown by ministers in knife crime hotspots which began in June.

Increases in "acquisitive crimes", such as burglary, will also raise fears that the economic downturn is beginning to fuel criminal activity.

Although the total amount of crime was down nationally, the quarterly report shows a worrying trend, with progressively smaller falls in the last year.

Suffolk's crime figures for July to Sept 2008

Overall crime dropped 2.6pc

Violent crime dropped 6.8pc

Vehicle crime dropped 5.4pc

Criminal damage dropped 0.2pc

Burglary of a dwelling dropped 4.7pc

Other burglary dropped 11.4pc

Fraud and forgery increased by 9.9pc

Drugs offences rose by 2.7pc

Detection rate improved from 29.5pc to 32.7pc

Crimes solved 3,994 - 295 more than same quarter in 2007