CRIME has hit a new low in Cleveland, according to new figures.
There were 9.9 per cent fewer offences recorded by Cleveland Police during the 12 months of last year with 4,400 fewer incidents.
Police chiefs say it is the lowest level of crime in the area during any calendar year on record, with reductions across the force area, including Hartlepool.
Anti-social behaviour was also at a record low, down 26 per cent over the same period, with 10,500 fewer reports.
Among the force’s successes were burglaries being cut by 8.4 per cent, criminal damage and arson by 14.9 per cent and sexual offences by 14.2 per cent.
Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Roberts, of Cleveland Police, said: “These results are positive in their own right, but all the more so when you consider that in the last few years, Cleveland Police has seen one of the greatest reductions of crime in any force in England and Wales. They also serve as a tribute to the commitment of our staff and partners who work tirelessly in support of the public we serve.
“However, we are not complacent and do not underestimate the challenge of continuing to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour in the current economic climate.
“Members of the public can of course help us to reduce crime further by taking basic steps to help protect them - for instance, leave a light on when you are not at home, don’t leave cars unattended with the engine running when defrosting, and don’t leave car keys behind unlocked front doors.
“But rest assured, there will be no let up for criminals in 2013. We will continue to proactively prevent, disrupt and detect criminal activity by creating a hostile environment for criminals, and reducing the number of victims wherever we can.”
Cleveland Police is also in the top ten forces nationally for public confidence. The force’s own survey shows a quarter on quarter improvement of 1.7 per cent for the three months to December 31, last year.
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger added: “Once again these latest figures reflect the efforts and commitment of everyone involved in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour. Of course, everyone involved with the force, but also the many different agencies whose involvement is so vital and, just as important, the public on whom we all rely for support.
“I have always made clear that the progress we have made in recent years has provided a very firm foundation on which can build for the future and ensure that Cleveland Police meets the needs and concerns of the communities we serve.
“At the same time we have to recognise that the ever-increasing financial pressures impose a major challenge to maintain, and indeed enhance, the quality of our service. I believe that by continuing the united effort which has delivered the remarkable figures announced today we can meet that challenge.”