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Police: 'Crime in Wycombe at its lowest level for 15 years'
CRIME in Wycombe is at its lowest level since the current system of recording statistics began in 1999.
Overall, crime across the Wycombe Local Police Area was slashed by ten percent – the fourth consecutive year of reduction across the district.
There were 7878 recorded crimes last year, which is down from the 8744 in 2012/13 and the 10,033 recorded incidents two years ago.
Crime across the entire Thames Valley is at its lowest level in 25 years and Wycombe is the top performing LPA in the force, making the district one of the safest in the country, Superintendent Ed McLean says.
He told the Free Press: "We've had the biggest reduction across the force, and we’ve reduced burglary more than any other area in the force – by 46 percent for burglaries from dwellings – it’s a massive reduction.
"We also have the highest charge and caution detection rate for ABH injury crimes – it sets us apart from everyone else.
"And while crime continues to fall, the number of successful prosecutions continues to increase, ensuring those who do break the law are brought to justice.
"Reducing crime is a big challenge and we’re always striving to lower it, but there are of course variables outside of our control and it will reach a baseline at some point.
"But we’ve reduced crime more than any other area and you are very unlikely to be a victim of crime in Wycombe."
All burglary has been cut by 35 percent with 766 crimes recorded last year compared to 1183 during the previous 12 months.
Vehicle-related thefts are down 20 percent (819 from 1018) and violent crime against a person has been trimmed six percent (1249 from 1325).
Domestic abuse has dropped four percent (713 from 741) but Supt McLean believes it is an under reported crime – as is homophobic (six from five) and racial abuse (78 from 83 recorded crimes last year).
The Wycombe Commander said tackling domestic violence is an area his officers can make a difference.
He said: "We monitor persistent offenders and victims, and we’re trying to do some work to prevent the offences happening or support those victims who wish to prosecute.
"We’re looking at a perpetrator programme where we refer offenders to prevent them from doing it before – there aren’t many groups that deal with offenders, there are lots with victims, so we’re working on that."
Sexual offences are up 57 percent - despite rape being reduced by six percent (47 from 50) - as ‘non-rape sexual offences’ have shot up 93 percent (166 from 86).
Supt McLean said: "We’ve seen an increase in reported offences and there is a view [the Jimmy Savile case] has impacted upon that."
The UK Statistics Authority stripped its ‘gold standard’ mark from all police statistics in January amid "accumulating evidence" the data collected may not be reliable.
But Supt McLean said Thames Valley Police was not one of the forces highlighted by the UKSA and the force followed the appropriate guidelines for recording crime.
He added: "Our force has always said we want to get it right all the time, everytime, as you could never regain that public confidence.
"We have a huge scrutiny and auditing process, we spend a lot of time on that and I have a lot of confidence in the way we record our statistics."
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