Crime is at lowest level since 1970, latest figures show

Juan Watterson MHK

Juan Watterson MHK

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Recorded crime is at its lowest level since 1970.

In 2014-15 the crime rate increased following an unprecedented spate of domestic burglaries but now the trend is down again.

The overall level of crime fell by 14 per cent during 2015-16. A total of 1,968 crimes were recorded for the 12 months, representing a 10 per cent drop against the average for the past three years and a substantial decrease since the year 2000 when more than 6,000 crimes were reported.

In 1994 there were almost as many offences of theft (1,700) as there were total crimes (1,968) in 2015-16.

The 2015-16 statistics also highlight an overall detection rate of 49.6 per cent, up by 6 per cent from the previous year.

Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson MHK praised the Constabulary’s success in combatting crime against a backdrop of budget constraint and evolving demand.

He said: ‘Driving down recorded crime to a level last witnessed in 1970 is a remarkable achievement.’

‘The Constabulary is to be commended for maintaining such high levels of public service during a time of significant change within the organisation.’

There were 67 domestic burglaries in 2015-16, down 53 per cent on the previous year.

Offences of criminal damage, public order and theft all fell.

Drug crime showed an increase of 30 per cent, and there was an increase in the reporting of historical sexual offences and domestic assaults, which demonstrates a strong degree of trust in the police and a belief among victims that they will be listened to.

Chief Constable Gary Roberts said: ‘A considerable part of last year’s reduction was achieved through active and effective policing. Officers are targeting the right people, building prosecution cases against prolific offenders and then seeing those sent to prison.’

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