Devon and Cornwall continues to be one of the safest places to live, work and visit in the country with the second lowest overall crime rate in England.
The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) crime figures for the period March 2021 to March 2022, which assesses all 42 forces in England, report a 12.2% increase in recorded crime with 56.8 crimes per 1,000 population. This is likely due to crime returning to pre-covid levels and follows national trends.
Acting Deputy Chief Constable Julie Fielding said: “The latest crime statistics reflect how our region is adapting to life after the Covid-19 lockdown and are testament to the hard work and dedication of our officers, staff, volunteers and our work with communities and partners.
“We have seen an increase in overall crime which has coincided with a steady return to normal where people have been more active after lockdown. The return of the evening and night economy and visitor numbers to the districts have increased and we are working hard with our partners to tackle and prevent crime and protect vulnerable people.
“Some aspects of crime in Devon and Cornwall have not returned to pre-Covid levels. All burglary offenses saw a 7% decrease, falling during the lockdown and not increasing back to their original levels. During the pandemic and especially during the lockdown period, many people worked from home and did not travel or leave vehicles unattended outside the home. As restrictions have eased, many people have adopted hybrid work models with more work from home than before the pandemic, which has reduced some opportunities for criminal activity.
“Historically we have had relatively low levels of property crime and the latest figures show that Devon and Cornwall have the lowest levels of crime across a range of types of property crime and we are continuing our work to reduce and prevent crime.
Some aspects of crime have increased in both Devon and Cornwall and nationally, including sex offenses which have increased locally by 29.5%. As of March 2021, policing has seen an increase in rape and sex crimes. This coincided with the end of the lockdown and an increased focus on violence against women and girls – factors that increased the confidence of victims in Devon and Devon to report sexual offences. Cornwall.
Devon and Cornwall Police continues to improve in bringing offenders to justice and working together to prevent such crimes from happening. This includes working with the national Operation Bluestone Soteria team to review how we respond to rape and sexual offenses to ensure we can provide the best possible services to our communities. Tackling serious violence, violence against women and girls and sexual offenses are priorities for the Force.
Statistics show that gun ownership has increased by 8%, however overall crime per capita is low at 0.7 crimes per 1,000 population. The rise in gun crime in Devon and Cornwall is likely due to the number of proactive police operations that have taken place over the past 12 months.
Operations such as Operation Scorpion, where five police forces in the South West region work together to create a hostile environment for those dealing drugs in our areas, have recovered assault weapons during seizures. The acquisition of these assault weapons will lead to an increase in gun crime, but this is a positive outcome because it means that these weapons have been found and taken off our streets.
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “While I am pleased to see the relatively low numbers of reported incidents in this area, these figures remind us how lucky we are to live here. , we must remain committed to encouraging more people to report crime so that we have a more accurate picture of crime in the armed forces.
“We know that crimes such as shoplifting and sexual offenses are still under-reported and I would encourage victims to come forward so that we can offer them the help and support they need. Thanks to government support and money from our local communities, Devon and Cornwall Police are able to reach record numbers of officers and are in a strong position to respond to and prevent crime, but we can’t do this without the support and involvement of communities. we serve.”