Crime at its lowest rate for 20 years

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CRIME in South Yorkshire is down to its lowest level in 20 years, 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 chiefs 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-ins and 11 per cent fewer robberies compared to the same period last year.

Deputy chief constable Bob Dyson said: “Overall 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.”

“We’re not complacent, as demonstrated by the reductions seen over the last few months in burglary and robbery. These crimes affect people’s lives so when we recognised the offences were increasing, we took action using a variety tactics; extra patrols in key areas, crime reduction messages and the use of intelligence to arrest prolific offenders.”

Violent crime is down by 1,593 crimes to 14,631, while there has been a 11 per cent drop in violence against people, down 1,594 crimes to 12,934.

There has been an eight per cent drop in sexual offances, down 56 crimes to 641.

Vehicle crime is down four per cent, a drop of 469 offences to 11,337 - this includes a 20 per cent reduction in theft of motor vehicles, down 623 to 2,515, and a two per cent increase in theft from motor vehicles, up 172 crimes to 8,635.

Burglaries have increased by four per cent, a rise of 683 crimes to 16,575. Included in this figure are house burglaries, up five per cent by 354 to 7,519, and other burglaries, up four per cent by 329 to 9,056.

Criminal damage offences are down by 1,718, a nine per cent reduction to 18,440. Drug offences are also down eight per cent to 4,690.

Theft and handling stolen goods offences have shown a slight reduction of one per cent to 17,673. Fraud and forgery offences are up one per cent by 29 offences to 2,173.