Wiltshire’s overall recorded crime increase is half the national average according to crime statistics out yesterday.
Between January 2017 and December 2017, Wiltshire Police recorded 44,043 crimes overall – an increase in 7.9% compared to the national average of 15.3% and 11.1% regionally.
Recorded burglary was up 13.2% on the previous year’s figures with 503 more burglaries, making a total of 4,318 break-ins for the year January 2017 to December 2017.
This increase is primarily down to how break-ins are recorded by the Force; since April 2017 the way burglary is recorded has changed nationally and new categories are not directly comparable to the previous ones i.e. shed break-ins are now classed as residential burglaries (home/property break-ins), whereas before they were categorised as non-dwelling (non-home/property break-ins).
Wiltshire Police has also improved how they record crimes with a 95.2% crime recording compliance rate.
Although the dramatic improvement in the quality of crime recording has impacted
on the results, tackling burglary continues to be a Force priority and Wiltshire Police has also invested in crime prevention awareness concerning vehicle crime.
Over the past 12 months a burglary improvement plan has been developed which now forms the basis of all burglary investigations. Part of this has involved holding a series of public drop-in sessions across the county to take on board the
concerns of people – our communities who are a vital resource in shaping our
response to this type of crime. As part of this, burglary detection rates have nearly doubled since April 2017 from 3% to 5.8% and this continues to improve.
The ONS figures show an increase of 24.2% in theft from vehicles (2,064 in
2016 compared to 2,564 in 2017). Our analysis suggests that the majority of these incidents are from vehicles which are insecure or have valuables on display and are often beauty spot thefts.
Officers continue to run a number of crime prevention campaigns urging motorists to lock their vehicles and keep belongings out of sight.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: “Whilst it is always concerning to see an increase in recorded crime I am confident that our improved recording practices explain some of this increase.
“Although I continue to highlight the increases in crime as being reflective of recording practices, at no point am I, or the Chief Constable becoming complacent.
“The Force has recognised the increase in domestic burglary and vehicle crime, and I am pleased to see the Force is robustly responding to the concerns that I and the wider community have about these crimes.
“I have challenged the Chief Constable and his team frequently and will continue to do so on burglary, as this increase is not acceptable, and while detection rates are increasing more improvements need to be made.
“The Force has had some recent success in securing convictions for prolific burglars and I am reassured that this continues to be a Force priority.”
Meanwhile, the number of overall recorded drug offences dropped by 15.2% with 187 fewer offences in 2017 compared to 2016.
The number of recorded rapes has increased by 37%, with 30% of this increase being accounted for by non-recent reports and 70% being reported within 12 months of the incident.