South Yorkshire crime is at lowest level in 20 years

Deputy Chief Constable: Bob Dyson.
Deputy Chief Constable: Bob Dyson.
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CRIME has fallen to its lowest level in 20 years in South Yorkshire, according to new figures.

Between July 2011 and June 2012 there were 98,498 recorded offences - the first time the total has dropped below six figures for two decades, police bosses said.

Although burglaries and robberies increased police said during the first three months of this financial year there was a four per cent drop in break-inss and 11 per cent fewer robberies compared to the same period last year.

In the last 12 months violent crime, criminal damage and drugs offences all fell.

Violent crime by 10 per cent, with 14,631 offences recorded; sexual offences dropped to 641; vehicle crime was cut four per cent to 11,337 and drug crimes fell to 4,690.

But burglaries went up by four per cent to 16,575 offences and house burglaries went up by five per cent to 7,519.

Deputy Chief Constable Bob Dyson said: “Crime is down to five figures for the first time in over 20 years – our challenge, in the face of continued budget cuts, is to maintain our six-year trend of reducing the number of victims across the county.”

But some victims of crime said they didn’t feel safer.

Builder Andrew Fearn, whose van was stolen from Oughtibridge, said: “I don’t believe it is any safer.

“I had my van stolen and I know three others in my area that were stolen within the next few days. The police dealt with it well and I have got my van back but the crime has definitely made me more aware and careful.”

Rob Hamid, a taxi driver from the Manor whose car was damaged by vandals said: “It doesn’t feel that crime rates are down, there seems to be always something going off.”

Carol Donaldson, of Doncaster, was heartbroken when items were stolen from her daughter’s grave in City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.

“I was devastated when criminals stole everything from my daughter’s grave. Although the police officer was supportive, it took too long to be dealt with and the offender has still not been caught.”