Massive drop in South Yorkshire crime figures

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Crime in South Yorkshire is down – with almost 3,000 fewer offences committed last year than in the previous 12 months, new figures reveal.

There were 98,458 offences recorded in the county until June – down three per cent compared to the year before, the Office for National Statistics figures show.

The figures, covering a period from June 2011 to June 2012, reveal 12,934 offences of violence – down 11 per cent.

There were 857 sexual offences – down three per cent, 12,354 vehicle crimes – down four per cent, 18,440 offences of criminal damage – down nine per cent, and 4,696 drug offences – down eight per cent.

But some categories of crime showed an increase – with robbery, burglary, theft and fraud all on the up.

The figures reveal 7,519 homes were broken into last year – a five per cent rise on the year before.

And 9,056 other break-ins were reported – where business premises, garages, sheds and outhouses were raided – an increase of four per cent on the year before.

There were also 2,173 fraud and forgery offences recorded, up one per cent.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Simon Torr said the overall drop was due to several factors, including better management of offenders.

“Working with the probation service and councils, we are now more effective at targeting the small number of offenders who commit most crimes, and the systems we have in place are proving really successful,” he said.

“Our neighbourhood policing teams are also so well embedded in communities that people are coming forward to help us and tell us who is doing what, and I want to thank them for that – it proves they have confidence in us because we act on their information.

“We have had some serious incidents recently where we have made arrests within half an hour to an hour. That’s down to good intelligence and communities coming forward and telling us what they know.”

He said with police budgets shrinking, and officer numbers reducing, police chiefs were having to be more effective with the resources available.

“We are recognised nationally as having one of the best tasking processes in the country because of the way we use data to map crimes and match resources,” he added.

Nationally the number of crimes recorded by police has dropped by a third over the last decade.

There were 3.9 million recorded offences in the year to June, a third lower than in 2002/3.

Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Browne said: “Crime is falling. I want people to be safe and secure, and this is very welcome news.”

Deputy Chief Constable Douglas Paxton, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “These overall crime reductions have been achieved at a time when forces are facing significant cash savings.

“The service remains determined to continue to build on the good work reflected in these publications, and the results are a credit to those officers and staff who have faced the challenge of major efficiencies while continuing to tackle crime in our communities.”