Crime - Suffolk still among safest

NATIONAL crime figures show robberies rocketed by 28 per cent last year – but Suffolk is still one of the safest counties. Regional trends show robberies rose across the country, but only four counties had fewer than the 289 recorded in Suffolk.

NATIONAL crime figures show robberies rocketed by 28 per cent last year – but Suffolk is still one of the safest counties.

Regional trends show robberies rose across the country, but only four counties had fewer than the 289 recorded in Suffolk.

Those comforting statistics are tempered by figures released in May which showed overall crime rose by nearly 14pc in Suffolk last year – twice the national average rise.

Despite that increase, Suffolk Police still recorded fewer crimes than any other force in our region.

Just over 50,000 crimes were recorded – 8,500 fewer than Norfolk and less than half of the regional table-toppers Essex with a whopping 113,000.

Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police forces also recorded more crimes.

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Figures released today showed a breakdown of robberies, burglaries and car crime compared to the overall crime total.

Suffolk's statistics were the lowest in the east of England in every category.

Home Office statisticians put much of the national and regional rise down to new methods of recording crime.

And officials claimed the real national rise was only about 2pc on last year's totals, once new procedures were taken into account.

The new National Crime Recording Standard was officially adopted in April this year, but many forces brought it on board earlier.

But even new ways of recording crime could not conceal the massive rise in violent offences. Home Office officials admitted the 28pc increase was an accurate figure.

Compared with Suffolk, the nation's crime hotspots make shocking reading.

Of the 20 most crime-ridden areas of the country, 14 are London boroughs. Lambeth recorded a stunning 23 robberies for every thousand people.

Outside London, the north-west was the hardest hit with Manchester topping the league and Liverpool in fifth place.

The four other areas with the worst robbery rates outside London were Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham and Leeds.

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