CRIME has fallen to a new low in Hartlepool despite police cutbacks – but there has been a rise in violent incidents.
The town’s police chiefs say they are “extremely pleased” with the latest crime figures during the current “tough economic climate”.
They show an overall reduction of 8.8 per cent from September last year, which Hartlepool’s Acting District Commander, Superintendent Jon Green, puts down to officers and partner agencies working “smarter and harder”.
The only area to see a rise was violence, with almost a tenth more incidents reported in the last 12 months compared to the year before.
Supt Green, says the rise, which includes a 22.5 per cent jump in the number of violent incidents where no injury was suffered, is down to anti-domestic violence initiatives.
Overall, there was a total of 5,680 reported offences in the last year, with 6,231 the year before – a difference of 551.
Anti-social behaviour also saw a dramatic drop, with 22.1 per cent fewer incidents - a drop of 2,110 reports.
Cleveland Police is currently undergoing cutbacks as it needs to make a cumulative saving of £14.2m by March 2015.
Supt Green, said: “We have had some excellent results over the last twelve months with an almost nine per cent drop in crime across Hartlepool compared to the previous year.
“A fantastic reduction in anti-social behaviour means there has been over 2,000 less victims across the town, showing that our actions to reduce the impact on communities are working.
“We have also seen decreases in robbery, burglary, criminal damage, arson and acquisitive crime – which includes theft – and we are focused on continuing this downward trend during the tough economic climate by protecting frontline services.”
The biggest falls in crime were seen in sexual offences (down 22.6 per cent), non-business robberies (down 43.9 per cent), house burglaries (down 22 per cent) and vehicle crime (down 23 per cent).
Supt Green added: “Officers and partner agencies, under the banner of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, have been working smarter and harder to keep communities more secure.
“The figures do show an increase in reports of violence.
“This number includes domestic violence incidents and as more people get the courage to come forward and speak out against perpetrators this will have an impact on statistics.
“The increase is seen in the least serious form of violence, where no injury is caused during the incident.
“I am extremely pleased with the positive reductions in crime and it is testament to the increased efforts of police teams, partners and with support from local residents that this has been achieved.”
Denise Ogden, Hartlepool Borough council’s assistant director, said: “Through the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, the council works very closely with the police, other key agencies and the local community tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Overall, the figures are very positive and a reflection of the good progress we are making in Hartlepool.”