ONLINE VOTE: Crime figures at 30-year low

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NOTTINGHAMSHIRE Police has recorded its lowest crime levels in more than 30 years but seen a sharp rise in common assaults and bike thefts.

The total number of crimes across the county between January and December 2011 was 79,985 - down 5,890 on the same period in 2010.

However, there was nearly a 50 per cent increase in the number of common assaults and bike thefts were up 14 per cent. Theft and handling of stolen goods went up by nearly four per cent.

The force is now ranked seventh out of 42 for customer satisfaction, up from 27th last year.

One of the most significant reductions was in domestic burglaries where the figure reduced by 1,911 to 4,648. All forms of burglary were down 18.6 per cent and robbery fell by 19.4 per cent.

Vehicle crime fell by 10.7 per cent, drug offences reduced by 10.1 per cent, sexual offences were down 9.8 per cent and there were 471 fewer victims of violence - a reduction of three per cent.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Broadbent said they are proud of the results but are not complacent.

“This is an outstanding performance against a difficult backdrop of financial challenges and significant cuts in our budget,” he said.

“The figures reflect our determination to continue to keep people safe and the huge increase in confidence shows that the public are being kept informed and are receiving a service we can be proud of.

“We are bucking the national trend with our reductions in burglary. We have the largest reductions in the country whereas other parts of the country have seen an increase. Other forces are now looking at us to see what we are doing differently to maintain these reductions and continue to see crime fall.

“We will continue to work closely with other agencies in a bid to get to the root of issues that can make a difference as to whether someone chooses a life of crime.

“Each and every member of the force is committed to helping keep people safe and reducing crime. We are in no way complacent and all have a part to play to ensure we keep improving and offenders know that if they commit crime here, they will be caught and put before the court.”

The force has pledged to work closely with businesses across Nottinghamshire to make it difficult for thieves to operate. Other initiatives to close down ways for criminals to sell on stolen good are also being carried out.

Professor Simon Holdaway, chairman of the police authority’s performance and policing committee, said: “Performance is improving, crime is reducing and people are less likely to become a victim of crime.

“Clearly, there is more to be done if we are to close the gap between this performance and other similar forces, which is why we continue to call for people to help reduce the numbers of opportunistic crime, which would have a significant impact on the number of crimes such as burglary, vehicle crime and shoplifting.”