Crime across Cornwall and Isles of Scilly has fallen in the last year, however shoplifting has soared by nearly 20 per cent, according to Devon and Cornwall Police.

Figures released today, (Thursday, July 17) show overall recorded crime down by 0.8 per cent in the year to June 30, 2014 – a reduction of 188 offences, (24,266 down to 24,078).

Acquisitive crime has reduced with reductions in dwelling burglary, (down 12.5 per cent), non-dwelling burglary, (down 11.1 per cent), and robbery, (down 11.8 per cent). These three areas have seen a total reduction of 296 offences in the county.

Vehicle offences have also seen a reduction of 15.1 per cent, with criminal damage down by 5.2 per cent.

No figure for sexual offences in Cornwall was released by police, however forcewide the rate increased 10.4 per cent.

The figures come at the same time as crime Forcewide rising by 0.4 per cent in the same period.

Violence without injury has seen a 10.4 per cent rise in Cornwall – 263 more reported incidents, and also a rise in shoplifting of 19.3 per cent.

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly commander, chief superintendent Julie Fielding said: “These figures show that crime continues to fall to some historically low levels and that police officers and staff across the County are working hard with partners and communities to keep people safe.

“We have made particular progress in reducing crimes such as burglary and robbery, crimes which particularly disturbing for victims. There are always improvements to be made and we are working closely with partners to improve the services that we deliver to those who report domestic abuse and sexual offences, crimes which have significant impact on those reporting. These are often difficult incidents to report and we will do all that we can to support victims.

We recently introduced our specialist sexual offences and domestic abuse investigation officers in a number of locations across the County who are committed to supporting victims and tackling offending behaviour.

“We have seen a rise in shoplifting and have plans to tackle this in every town. We are working closely with retailers to prevent shoplifting and also with partner agencies to understand the root causes of such offending and identify those in our communities who need help as well as intervention”.

“We have experienced a rise in violent crime at the lower level and have worked hard to understand where such crime takes place in the County to prevent offending from happening. We identify those who continue to commit violent crime and target their behaviour.

"Every crime has a victim and we review crimes to understand how we can improve the service that we provide.

“Overall we continue to make progress in reducing crime and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly remain a safe place to live, work and holiday. I am determined that we keep it that way”.

Assistant chief constable Andy Bickley said: "“How crime affects a victim is absolutely paramount and at the forefront of everything we do. We are working with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to focus on those offences that have the biggest impact on victims and the lives that they lead.

“Things such as domestic abuse and some sexual offences have been greatly under reported in the past and it is encouraging that victims are becoming increasingly more confident in reporting.

“The most important thing is for the police and partners to focus on the causes of crime and prevent reoffending.”

The data comes at the same time as police strength figures up to 31 March, 2014, show the Force now has 3096 Full Time Equivalent police officers – compared to 3082 in 2013. This is supported by almost 600 members of the Special Constabulary.

Assistant chief constable Bickley added: “There is no doubt the Force has already faced and continues to deal with the huge challenges that having £40 million less in the budget brings.
“But we are striving to work closer than ever with our communities and partners to do things differently and give the best value policing possible to Devon and Cornwall.
“We continue to have a committed and highly skilled workforce which the Force and wider public can rightly be proud of.”