Figures released by Devon and Cornwall Police show that crime across the Force has dropped by 5.5 per cent in the last nine months, however sex crimes have risen.

The figures reveal that there were 4,054 fewer recorded crimes between April 1, 2012 and January 20, 2013, compared to the same period in 2011/12.

Robbery has decreased by 20.4 per cent and vehicle crime by 11.1 per cent.

Meanwhile domestic burglary dropped by 23.9 per cent, meaning there have been 847 fewer victims of this type of crime in the past nine months.

Cases of criminal damage have also reduced by 1781 crimes – a reduction of 12.1 per cent.

Historical figures from the Office of National Statistics, also released today, show that Devon and Cornwall had a 5 per cent rise in crime between September 2011 and September 2012 compared to the same period in 2010 to 2011. Although these showed previous rises in burglary and other offences, those increases have already shown a significant reduction in the last nine months.

Assistant Chief Constable for crime and justice Chris Boarland welcomed the updated figures.

He said, “Devon and Cornwall remains a safe place, but these latest figures from April 2012 show an encouraging drop as a result of the targeted work going on to reduce crime and the fear of crime.

“Devon and Cornwall Police aim to be the best rural, urban and coastal force in the country and these latest results show we are heading in the right direction.

“These results show how our staff are working with communities to make them safer. In the current financial climate we have to look at different ways of achieving our goals and working more effectively with less whilst keeping victims at the forefront of our plans.

“It isn’t easy for any of our staff, but these results show a clear commitment to succeed.”

Despite substantial reductions from April 2012 to January 2013, there has been a rise in sexual offences.

Sexual offences have increased by 5.1 per cent between April and January – an increase of 77 offences.

Mr Boarland said: “While we have had some significant successes in the last six months, these areas remain of concern and continue to be proactively worked on.

“A better victim focus will give others the confidence to report their incidents to us and we continue to do everything possible to get a positive outcome for victims.”