Drop in crime pleases Olly but puzzles others

The Police and Crime Commissioner has praised the fall in crime across Bedfordshire, but the figures came under fire on Thursday.

Commissioner Olly Martins said he was “very pleased” with the overall reduction in crime, down from 111.5 crimes a day in April 2011 - March 2012, compared to 96.5 a day in April - September 2012.

Beds Police is now ranked 23rd nationally out of 43, compared to 26th last year.

Domestic burglary, robbery, vehicle crime and serious violence have all fallen, but anti-social behaviour has increased by three per cent.

Mr Martins said: “Naturally I’m pleased to see that crime in Beds continues to fall. In real terms this means roughly 4,500 fewer victims of crime.

“However, we must not forget the people who have been unfortunate enough to be a victim of criminal activity and I fully appreciate that a fall in crime is of no consolation to them. That’s why a key element of my Police and Crime Plan will be listening to and addressing the needs of victims of crime.”

However, The Crime Survey for England and Wales found 400,000 fewer crimes were recorded by police in between 2006/7 and 2011/12 than were reported in the survey of 40,000 households.

In the past five years, police figures show a 33 per cent drop in recorded crime since 2006-7, while the crime survey estimates a drop of only 17 per cent over the same period. ONS statisticians said one explanation for the difference may be the pressure on police to downgrade incidents in the face of a targets culture.

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