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Suffolk figures show county remains one of safest places to live

  • 1st May 2024

Suffolk is in the top four counties in England and Wales where people are least likely to be victims of crime, according to figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The total recorded crime covering the 12 months to the end of December 2023 show that there were 60.9 crimes per 1000 people*, a decrease of 11% compared to the previous 12 months.

From residential burglary, public order, robbery, theft from person, stalking and harassment, vehicle crime, sexual offences, knife crime and drug offences all saw drops in recorded crimes, compared to the previous 12-month period.

Based on the ONS figures, Suffolk Constabulary is ranked fourth for the lowest levels of recorded crime in the country.

Deputy Chief Constable Rob Jones said: “As I have said previously, whilst these figures are very encouraging, demonstrating further positive progress and reflect all the hard work that takes place across the force, I am always very mindful that every crime that is committed has a victim involved and we extend our sympathies if this is the case for you.

“The victim is at the heart of everything we do. This means putting them first with high quality investigations to catch the perpetrator and being determined to bring offenders to justice. This is especially the case with those who are the most prolific and high risk, whilst maximising opportunities to reduce re-offending and promote rehabilitation.

“These figures do demonstrate how we are refusing to rest on our laurels but continue to improve, to work hard to keep the people of Suffolk safe and to solve crime and catch criminals.
“I reiterate, that these figures will mean very little if you have been the victim of a crime and there is much more to a local county police service than just bald statistics.

“For example, our Community Policing Teams that we launched in December last year are continuing to do some fantastic engagement work. I’d would suggest that residents take a look at your local policing social media feed on X or Facebook to get a flavour of the sort of visible and proactive work our officers are doing each and everyday.”

The force did see rises in business related crime (up 25.9%) and shoplifting (14.8%) and a marginal rise in possession of weapons (up 0.2%).

DCC Jones added: “With the cost of living still applying pressure on many people and their home lives I am not surprised at the rise in shoplifting and retail crime. We will be undertaking a close review of these figures to understand what more we can do to tackle this area.

“Our recent week of engagement activity with the business community in March demonstrates our commitment to tackle shoplifting and pursue and prosecute offenders where possible. We paid visits to around 300 shops and businesses providing crime prevention advice, coupled with high visibility patrols. We have a range of tools at our disposal to address retail crime including the use preventative powers such the Anti-Social Behaviour Act to tackle persistent offenders, use of Community Protection Notices and Criminal Behaviour Orders.

“We would always urge victims of retail or business crime to report retail crime. Shoplifting is a crime whatever the value of the item stolen and can result in a criminal conviction, which can have a serious impact on someone’s life. We understand this this behaviour is simply unacceptable as it ultimately can threaten the future of the business affected.

“This week of activity was a great example of how, together with the public and community partners, the police raise awareness and educate people about particular crime trends. It is also important to acknowledge how the people of Suffolk can help us locate offenders and safeguard the vulnerable by feeding us with their information and intelligence that helps influence how we police the county.”

“As always, we remain grateful for the support from Suffolk residents which is demonstrated every time we appeal for help to prevent crime or catch criminals. Just as important is the help and support from our partners across the county who we will continue to work closely with to ensure the county overall remains a safe place.”

The figures do exclude fraud
*Knife crime data is published as crime per 100,000 population.

Suffolk’s national ranking for lowest levels of recorded crime:
Dec 2019 – Dec 2020 – ranked 13th
Sep 2021 – Sept 2022 – ranked 7th
Dec 2021 – Dec 2022 – 6th
March 2022 – March 2023 – 7th
June 2022 – June 2023 – 6th
Sept 2022 – Sept 2023 – 5th
Dec 2022 – Dec 2023 – 4th

% change (Jan 23 – Dec 23):
Residential burglary: -12.4%
Robbery: -23.6%
Theft from person: -26.7%
Violence against the person: -13.8%
Stalking and harassment: -28.2%
Vehicle offences: -6.1%
Drug offending: -18.1%
Knife crime: -14.4%
Possession of weapons: +0.2%
Public order: -24.1%
Business burglary: +25.9%
Shoplifting: +14.8%

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