CRIME has fallen across Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, according to latest crime figures.
Data released by the Home Office has shown that crime has dropped overall by 9% in the 12 months up to September 2011.
Violence, sex attacks, burglary and robbery are all falling in the region, although drug offences and metal thefts are on the increase.
Interviews carried out with members of the public as part of the British Crime Survey showed that 68% of people were happy with Northumbria Police, which is the second highest level of public confidence in any force in the country.
Chief Constable Sue Sim has attributed the fall in crime to Northumbria’s commitment to protecting frontline policing and maintaining neighbourhood policing teams in the face of Government cash cuts.
“I welcome these results, which show that our enviable record in reducing crime continues and I firmly believe that neighbourhood policing is at the heart of this success,” she said.
“This means having neighbourhood officers and community support officers out and about in our communities.
“They are known in their communities, understand their concerns and are easily accessible for people to talk to. They work alongside local people and our partners to deal with those issues of most concern to the community.”
The figures show that violent attacks fell by 15%, burglary by 6%, sexual offences and robbery both fell by 3%, car crime dropped 10%, criminal damage 20% and fraud by 13%.
The only categories of crime to see an increase were drug offences which went up by 8% and thefts such as metal theft went up by 1%.
But Mrs Sim says these spikes could be due to the fact that drug dealers are being actively targeted and that metal theft is rising nationally.
And the Chief Constable explained that officers were carrying out operations targeting metal thieves and dodgy scrapyards.
She said: “In common with most other forces across the country, we have seen a slight increase in theft offences, which includes metal theft. Tackling metal theft is a force priority and we take a tough stance on this issue, running regular operations to target those involved in this type of crime.”
Northumbria Police has also seen a slight rise in its detection rate with 43% of crimes now being “solved” in comparison with 41% last year.
But Mrs Sim says her officers will not become complacent and will continue to work with the public to keep driving down crime on our streets.
She said: “We are never complacent and our aim is to continue to work closely with partners and our communities, identify emerging crime types and directing our officers, staff and other resources to where they are most needed.
“I must also give credit to my officers and staff who work tirelessly and achieve such excellent performance. And we receive superb support from Northumbria Police Authority.”
Durham Constabulary also saw crime fall. A spokesperson said: “We are proud of the fact that overall crime in the Durham Constabulary area is continuing to fall, and it’s especially notable that house burglaries are going down. These figures represent almost 1,000 fewer victims of crime in County Durham and Darlington.
“Our aim is always to deliver excellent policing which will inspire confidence in the people we serve by protecting neighbourhoods, tackling criminals and solving problems around the clock.
“Our work to tackle metal thefts is receiving national recognition and we are well on to the way to making County Durham and Darlington no-go areas for those who seek to gain from this despicable crime.
“There have been some increases in particular categories of offences but, while the actual numbers involved are small, as far as we are concerned any victim of crime is one too many.
“However, these increases should in no way diminish the fact that overall crime in County Durham and Darlington continues to fall.”
In common with other forces across the country, we have seen a slight increase in theft offences