Crime figures fall overall in Thames Valley - but sex offence reports up after Savile scandal

Bucks Free Press: Shamed TV presenter Jimmy Savile Shamed TV presenter Jimmy Savile

WHILE crime has fallen overall in the Thames Valley according to the latest statistics, there has been a spike in the number of sexual offences reported - an increase police say is partly due to the number of recorded allegations against shamed TV star Jimmy Savile.

Officers say publicity generated by the Savile case, in which the presenter is alleged to have committed a number of acts of sexual abuse at Stoke Mandevile hospital and other locations, has resulted in greater reporting of "non-recent offences".

Reported sexual offences for the region shot up by 33.1per cent compared to a 17 per cent increase nationally.

Overall, however, figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that overall crime dropped by more than four per cent in the 12 months leading up to September 2013, compared with the previous year.

A total of 131,492 offences were recorded in Thames Valley during this period. This equates to a reduction of 4.2 per cent compared to the previous year. The reduction in crime nationally was 4.4 per cent.

The biggest reduction in the Thames Valley was seen in robbery offences, which decreased by 27.7 per cent - the fourth largest reduction in the country, against a national decrease of 10.1 per cent.

In the Thames Valley there was also a decrease in business robbery of 9.4 per cent, whilst personal robbery decreased by 29.3 per cent.

Domestic burglary offences fell by 19 per cent - the second largest reduction in England and Wales against a national drop of 4.8 per cent.

Non-domestic burglary offences have decreased by 5.3 per cent compared to four per cent nationally.

Violence in Thames Valley fell by 2.9 per cent compared to 1.5 per cent in England and Wales, while criminal damage and arson offences fell by 12.4 per cent compared to a national decrease of 8.8 per cent.

Chief Constable Sara Thornton said: "I am delighted that crime has continued to drop in Thames Valley. I want to thank the officers, staff and volunteers working for Thames Valley Police for all their hard work and also our partners who support the work to make our communities safer.

"I know that there has been some concern about the accuracy of national crime data. It is really important that we can trust our figures - so that we know where to target our resources appropriately. We take the accuracy of crime recording very seriously.

"We will continue to work towards cutting crime across the three counties over the next 12 months."

Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley added: ‘’Despite a number of wider national distractions, I am delighted that Thames Valley Police continues to maintain its focus in reducing crime. I am pleased with the progress of my key priorities, in particular domestic burglary, which continues to see significant reductions. "I would like to thank all police officers, staff and volunteers for their hard work and commitment to ensure our communities remain safe across Thames Valley’."

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