DORSET Police has seen a 6.1% drop in recorded crime, according to new figures released last week.
Data released by the Office for National Statistics shows the force has continued to see a drop in overall crime for the third consecutive quarter.
In early 2020, Dorset Police received a ‘good’ grading from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services for accurate crime recording, which means the reduction of 6.1% during the 12 months to the end of September 2020 is a real reduction, and gives the county the ninth lowest crime rate in England and Wales.
A reduction in some crime types has very likely been impacted by COVID-19 and national restrictions requiring people to stay home during the first lockdown.
Even with some crime returning to expected levels during the summer months, the overall reduction enabled the force to proactively focus on the crimes that affect the most vulnerable members of our communities, such as domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation and county lines.
Deputy Chief Constable Scott Chilton said Dorset remains one of the safest counties in the country to live and visit.
He continued: “2020 was an unprecedented and difficult year for everyone. National lockdown restrictions meant that while overall crime fell in Dorset, our officers and staff faced new challenges in enforcing government stay at home guidelines.
“Our excellent officers and police staff not only rose to this challenge, but they also ensured business as usual was maintained. Crimes continued to be investigated so that offenders could be brought to justice and our communities were kept safe.
“All crime matters to our communities and we will maintain our focus on providing an outstanding service to the people of Dorset, particularly those who are most vulnerable.
“Reducing crime is important to everyone and I hope this latest reduction will help to reassure our communities that we are working with them and our partners to focus on what matters.”
The total number of crimes reduced from 54,387 to 51,088 over the 12-month period, a reduction of 4.3 crimes per 1,000 population.
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “Dorset residents should be greatly reassured by these figures which demonstrate once again that not only do they live in one of the UK’s safest counties, but one in which crime levels are continuing to fall.
“I’d like to praise all our dedicated officers, staff members and volunteers who have worked so hard through this incredibly difficult period to make sure our residents continue to be kept safe.”
Click here for the latest figures on crimes in the Lyme Regis area.