Annual crime statistics for 2010/11 released by the Home Office show total crime down by 3,815 offences (3.8 per cent). Around 30 per cent of crimes are solved, against the national average of 28 per cent.
Burglary of people’s homes has been falling for more than 15 years and a further 11.2 per cent decrease has reinforced that Sussex homes are among the safest in the country. Sussex has the fifth lowest burglary rate in England and Wales with fewer than ten offences a day.
One of only two areas to show an increase is sexual assault with 37 more reported offences (2.6 per cent), which is believed to be down to an increasing confidence in reporting by victims. Drug offences are also up, but this is largely due to the effects of the reclassification of cannabis.
Other areas of violent crimes have seen decreases, with overall violent crime down by 245 incidents (-1.1 per cent), 243 fewer cases of violence against the person (-1.2 per cent) and 39 fewer robberies (-4.2 per cent). This reduction in robbery bucks the national trend where there was an increase of 1.4 per cent.
Tackling anti-social behaviour is a priority for the public and for Sussex Police. For the first time, the report includes anti-social behaviour incidents with a 9 per cent reduction in Sussex against the national average reduction of 8 per cent.
The report also includes British Crime Survey data, which shows a significant improvement in the number of people who think that Sussex Police do an excellent or good job - 64 per cent compared to 59 per cent nationally.
Commenting on the figures, Deputy Chief Constable Giles York said: “Given the challenges facing the Force at this time, this report makes very encouraging reading. It must be remembered that behind the pages of figures and statistics are real people and in Sussex there are nearly 4,000 fewer victims of crime this year. This supports our priority to maintain a quality service to keep serving Sussex.
“These real people are also telling us that they are increasingly confident in our policing with nearly two thirds believing that we are doing a good or even excellent job. This job is being done by a dedicated team of officers and staff, often in the face of adversity, sometimes in the face of very real personal danger. Public satisfaction with their service is a tangible recognition of their professionalism, integrity and commitment.
“Now we must concentrate on maintaining this improvement against a background of unprecedented change in policing. It is important that we continue to work closely with our partners to make the maximum use of our resources and together we are determined to drive down crime and anti-social behaviour yet further as part of our commitment to serving Sussex.”