Crime falls across county

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Crime in Lancashire has continued to fall in the past 12 months – despite police chiefs fighting to hack £42m off the force budget.

Between April 2011 and the end of March 2012 the number of crime reports fell from 102,496 to 99,336 – a reduction of 3.1%.

The county also saw reductions in the majority of crime categories. The number of crimes are already at record low levels.

There were 635 fewer victims of serious acquisitive crime, with reports falling 4.8%, from 13,188 incidents to 12,553.

Burglary in a dwelling figures have been at a 30 year low – and 89 fewer people reported burglaries in their homes last year. This is a further reduction of 2% (4,367 offences to 4,278).

Vehicle crime reduced with 519 fewer victims – a decrease of six per cent from 8,114 incidents to 7,595.

Criminal damage reports are also down 8% from 20,626 incidents to 18,978 – a reduction of 1,648 fewer victims. Robbery incidents also fell.

But incidents of violence with injury rose by 5.8%, up from 10,048 offences to 11,013 offences.

Lancashire’s Chief Constable Steve Finnigan said: “Our officers and staff remain dedicated to keeping Lancashire and its residents safe.”

He added of the budget cuts: “I’m not going to sit here and say I think crime will go up because I think at the moment we can still stay on top of it.

“With lots of effort there will still be reductions but probably on a smaller scale. We need to keep really focused on that.”

He said that domestic violence and child sex exploitation will be among the main crime issues in the county over the next 12 months.

“I think I’m particularly pleased with these results...because the backdrop is really significant change and significant cuts,” he said.