Update from Andy Boyd - Superintendent, South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse LPA
The 2012/13 performance assessment is now available and I am extremely pleased that once again this police area has achieved outstanding success. We have continued to reduce crime whilst enhancing our crime detection rate. All crime has been reduced by 9.8% and 27.9% of all crime reported has been detected. We were the second best performing LPA in Thames Valley delivering;
- A 15.6% reduction in Violent Crime
- A 0.3% reduction in Dwelling Burglary
- A 27.5% detection rate in Dwelling Burglary
- A 30.3% detection rate in Serious Sexual Offences
- A 47.4% detection rate in Violence against the Person with Injury
These figures should be viewed in the context of our continuing reduction of crime over the last ten years which can be seen below;
Over the last ten years we have reduced crime by 38%, this is a tremendous achievement. This is a district that can rightly take pride in being one of the safest places to live in the country. Indeed;
- Overall Crime is at its lowest level in over 15 years
- Burglary Dwelling is at its lowest level in over 15 years
- Personal Robbery is at its lowest level in over 15 years
- Theft from Vehicle is at its lowest level in over 15 years
- Total Violence against the Person is at its lowest level since 2001/2002
One of the crimes that we have particularly focussed on during this period has been dwelling burglary. This is a pernicious crime that can have a devastating impact on those in the community whose homes are invaded and where often irreplaceable items are stolen. We have reduced these offences by 57.3%.
These figures represent 5,581 less victims of crime and almost 500 less victims of burglary a year. This level of performance doesn't just happen, it is delivered by committed, professional Police Officers and Police Staff who care about their local communities. I genuinely believe that we have made South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse a better place for local communities.
We are determined to support victims of crime and vulnerable members of our communities, and will continue to do this through a number of programmes, such as Op Vera, our support network for elderly victims of crime. There is a huge amount we are doing together to enhance the lives of those within our districts that we can be rightly proud of achieving.
We have challenged offenders in a way they have never experienced before and we continue to robustly pursue these individuals on a daily basis. We make it clear that we will not tolerate criminal behaviour and together with our partners ensure individuals recognise criminality is not an easy option, we instead encourage them to accept one of the many positive intervention options available to them to discourage offending behaviour.
We have enjoyed considerable success, and whilst it is only right to reflect and recognise our achievements it is also time to look forward and consider what we need to do this coming year and build on these achievements.
This year we will continue to work to reduce burglary, violent crime and rural crime offences. It will be a challenge to further reduce burglary and violent crime although I am confident the strides we have made locally to manage offenders and our weekend night time economy give us a tremendous opportunity to do this.
We are extremely conscious that an increasing number of criminals are targeting rural communities, preying on isolated and vulnerable areas and targeting these individuals. This is a priority for us this year. Already we have increased the number of resources patrolling rural areas and had some notable successes in arresting travelling criminals who mistakenly believed they could come here and commit crime with impunity.
If we are to further reduce crime we recognise that we will increasingly need the help of the public and we will therefore be looking to develop our Neighbourhood Watch Schemes across the district. These schemes are a crucial element of our crime prevention network, often providing the eyes and ears that prevent crime happening whilst generating information to help us identify and prosecute offenders. We would welcome the opportunity to further discuss developing Neighbourhood Watch Schemes within your community. If you would like to discuss this please do let me know and I will arrange for a member of your Neighbourhood Team to make contact with you.
As I regularly point out we have not reduced crime on our own. I am extremely grateful to the continuing help and support from both South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Councils, the Community Safety Partnership, the volunteers who support us through the Special Constabulary, Neighbourhood watch and the Neighbourhood Action Groups and, of course, the local communities of South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse.
Thank you to all of you for your support this year, it has been very much appreciated and I look forward to continuing to work with you over the coming year.
South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse LPA