Nottinghamshire Police celebrate fastest crime drop in UK

CRIME is falling faster in Mansfield, Ashfield and other parts of Nottinghamshire than anywhere else in the country.

The county’s police chiefs have set themselves a target of becoming the best performing force in the UK within four years after unveiling their latest Home Office-verified figures.

They show overall crime was reduced by 16 per cent in Mansfield and 18 per cent in Ashfield between June 2010 and June 2011.

The county-wide figure was 13 per cent, placing Nottinghamshire as the joint best performing force in the country for crime reduction.

House burglaries fell by 40 per cent in Mansfield and 33 per cent in Ashfield, contributing to a force-wide drop of 38 per cent which was the highest reduction in the country.

And Nottinghamshire also recorded the second highest reduction in robbery, down almost a quarter, and criminal damage, which fell by 19 per cent.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Broadbent said: “We have made massive inroads in reducing crime across the board and people are far less likely to be victims of crimes like burglary than they would have been just a year ago.”

Mr Broadbent admitted the force still has ‘far to go’, and pointed to the repeated failings in protecting Casey Brittle, who was brutally beaten to death by her partner in Nottingham.

There also remain some areas of crime which buck the trend, with drug offences rising by 20 per cent in Mansfield and a massive 68.4 per cent in Ashfield.

“We are determined not to become complacent and we continue to move forward,” Mr Broadbent said.

“Our ambition remains to be the best force in the country by 2015 and we need to build on the significant reductions achieved so far this year and continue to serve the public to the highest possible standard.”

In Mansfield, the number of assaults fell by 33 per cent, vehicle crime was slashed by 24 per cent, thefts of motor vehicles were down by a fifth, violence against a person was cut by 19 per cent and violent crime by 18 per cent.

Ashfield figures saw robbery reduced by 42 per cent, serious sexual offences down 28 per cent and vehicle crime slashed by a quarter.

Officers say new techniques are helping them to slash crimes like robbery.

Det Insp Hayley Williams said: “In years gone by, a robbery case would have been handed to an officer to investigate with no requirement to review or discuss it properly.

“Now we hold detailed, weekly meetings where every single robbery is discussed at length and reviewed. A robbery will not be filed until we have exhausted every single tactic available to us.”

Police are also visiting schools to give advice to young people on keeping their belongings safe and carrying out ‘anniversary information-seeks’, where officers visit the scene of the crime 24 hours later, or a week later, to find people who could have been in the area at the time.

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