Today, Thursday 19th October, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) have released their crime figures for the period of 12 months to June 2017 which show a rise in recorded crime in Devon and Cornwall, and nationally.
Devon and Cornwall has seen a rise in reported crime of 17.1% (12,859 incidents), which is slightly above the national average of 14.1%.
Due to changes in crime recording standards and the implementation of new practises, the levels of recorded crime has risen for each of the 43 Police Forces in England and Wales.
Deputy Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “We must stress that crime figures only represent a minor part of what we as a police force actually do; around 80% of our business is not crime related.
“One area of crime that has seen a major rise in the recording is in the reporting of sexual offences. Following changes to our recording practices implemented in light of the recent Crime Data Integrity Report, more sexual offences are being recorded at the first point of contact, instead of the previous practice of being recorded once an officer had met with the victim.
“This change in recording practice has seen a significant increase in the number of sexual offences the Force are recording, and is also a reflection of the hard work we as a force have undertaken in recent years to help give confidence to victims that they should come forward and report these crimes to the police.
“We have also seen a notable increase in the recorded numbers of violence against the person, this is due to the new malicious communications act and covers online harassment which is now recorded as violent crime rather than as a telecommunications offence.
“I remain confident that not only are my staff and officers working hard to protect and serve our public, but Devon and Cornwall remains a safe place to live, work, and visit, and that the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime is still very low.”
DCC Vaughan added: “While there has been a rise in recorded crime, we remain committed to preventing harm, protecting the vulnerable and reducing crime whenever possible.
“Independent surveys demonstrate our communities believe their local police do a good job – we remain the most successful force in the country on that measure.
“Our public can be reassured we will do everything possible to maintain a high quality, resilient policing service.”