Crime is at lowest level for 22 years

CRIME figures in South Yorkshire is at its lowest since 1989, new figures have revealed.

A total of 102,184 crimes were reported across the county last year - a drop of two per cent on the year before.

South Yorkshire Police said the figure is at its lowest level since 1989 with violent crime, vehicle crime and fraud offences all significantly reduced.

But the force has seen an increase in burglary, theft and drug offences.

Temporary assistant chief constable Bob Sanderson said: “The force has repeatedly said for the last few years that maintaining our good performance will be a challenge as we look to maximise resources within a reducing budget.”

“We’re still managing to reduce overall crime but the latest results show some individual crime increases, partly driven by the economy. For example, metal crimes and shoplifting offences have contributed significantly to rises in theft and burglary.”

“These crimes are force priorities with operational activities taking place and proactive crime prevention messages issued regularly on twitter and Facebook.

“Crime statistics are a useful performance indicator but we know what’s most important – the people who live and work in South Yorkshire – and we’re committed to organising our officers and staff in the most efficient way to deliver the best possible service.”

The figures show violent crime reduced by 12 per cent by 2,062 offences to 15,459, comparing January to December 2011 with the previous 12-month period. This includes violence against person offences, robbery and sexual offences.

Fraud and forgery offences are down by 235, a 10 per cent drop to 2,183 crimes. Criminal damage offences have fallen seven per cent, down 1,472 to 19,723 crimes.

The number of firearms offences and knife crimes also show significant reductions. Firearms offences, excluding air weapons, are down 49 per cent by 86 to 88 crimes.

There were also 45 fewer knife crimes, a nine per cent reduction to 474 offences.

Vehicle crimes are down 11 per cent by 1,483 crimes to 12,533. This includes theft of vehicles, down 408 offences to 2,876, and theft from vehicles, down 948 to 8,492 crimes.

But there were rises in certain areas.

House burglaries have increased by 60 crimes to 7,447. Other burglaries are up eight per cent by 734 crimes to 9,418. Theft and handling stolen goods offences have increased by 10 per cent, a rise of 2,752 to 29,300 crimes. Drug offences are up four per cent by to 5,041.