Suffolk one of the safest counties

SUFFOLK today leapt up the national ranks, and now has the third lowest level of recorded crime in the country.The perception of disorder in Suffolk was also found to be the lowest in England and Wales, according to the figures per thousand of the population, released today.

SUFFOLK today leapt up the national ranks, and now has the third lowest level of recorded crime in the country.

The perception of disorder in Suffolk was also found to be the lowest in England and Wales, according to the figures per thousand of the population, released today.

Although Suffolk saw rising violent crime like other places, its position regarding those offences has jumped from 24th to eighth lowest in England and Wales.

Assistant chief constable Colin Langham-Fitt said: "I am delighted with these figures, which confirm that we are on track to meet the 'Suffolk First' target of making Suffolk the safest county by 2006.

"Extra police officers providing high-profile, targeted policing, are having a noticeable impact. Levels of burglary and vehicle crime – offences that cause victims a great deal of stress and inconvenience – are the lowest in England, but what gives me the greatest sense of satisfaction is the finding that people are noticing a real difference in their quality of life.

"Those who live and work in Suffolk are realising that not only are they safe, but also that they can feel safe too."

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Nationally, violent crime leapt 22 per cent and rape was up 27pc last year.

Overall, police recorded 5,899,450 crimes in England and Wales in 2002-03 compared with 5,525,316 the previous year.

But Home Office experts said the National Crime Recording Standard results were skewed by changes introduced last year to the way police recorded crimes and there was in fact a 3pc fall.

Separate figures from the annual British Crime Survey, based on interviews with 40,000 adults, also suggested crime dropped 2pc and that the risk of being a victim was at an historic low.

The death toll of serial killer Harold Shipman was included in this year's homicide figures, which were skewed dramatically as a result, and for the first time shot above 1,000.

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