Suffolk crime rates lowest in years

CRIME in Suffolk has fallen to its lowest level in four years - with the police operation during the Ipswich red light killings believed to have played a major part.

CRIME in Suffolk has fallen to its lowest level in four years - with the police operation during the Ipswich red light killings believed to have played a major part.

The number of offences reported to police in the 12 months up to April fell from 52,831 to 51,096 - a 3.3per cent drop.

However, there were also 42,710 incidents of anti-social behaviour in the same period, the equivalent of around 117 every day.

Police welcomed the drop in crime, which included a fall in house burglaries.

The reduction was partly helped by tumbling crime rates during December and January while Suffolk Constabulary probed the killings of five prostitutes.

However, crime has been gradually decreasing over a longer period, from November last year to February.

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The figures reveal how house burglary rates fell by 12.7pc during 2006/07 - 245 fewer offences.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull, Suffolk police's head of crime management, said: “We recorded 1,735 fewer offences compared with the previous year. Included in that fall is a substantial reduction in house burglary of more than 12pc.

“House burglary is a particularly distressing crime for its victims - and the fact that there were 245 fewer homes broken into across the county can only be good.”

The level of violent crime during 2006/07 increased by 1.9pc (208 offences) but there were fewer offences of violent crime committed in a public place.

Det Chief Supt Gull said the violent crime category included a range of offences, such as verbal threats and minor assaults which caused little or no injury.

He said: “The small rise shows that we must continue to target violent crime - and we will do so through on-going initiatives.

“We know that increased high visibility policing has the right effect - and I am confident that the extra Police Community Support Officers now working with our regular officers and Specials across the county will help us with this.”

The report shows vehicle crime rose by 2.2pc during 2006/07 (117 offences) while criminal damage increased by 0.1pc (17 offences).

During the period, the force received 100,351 emergency calls which was almost 5pc higher than the previous year.

Despite this, it answered 94.4pc within 10 seconds, beating the National Call Handling Standard target of 90pc.

Det Chief Supt Gull said the force would continue to target organised, cross-border crime, such as bogus caller incidents and drug dealing in the year ahead.

N Are you happy with the figures? Has policing improved in Suffolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

NUMBER OF CRIMES RECORDED IN SUFFOLK

2001/02 - 50,492

2002/03 - 50,315

2003/04 - 53,443

2004/05 - 52,101

2005/06 - 52,831

2006/07 - 51,096

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