Devon and Cornwall is one of only six police forces in England and Wales to see crime fall in the past year, figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report on recorded crime for the 12 months to September 2019 shows an overall decrease of 0.3% across the force area.

Alison Hernandez, police and crime commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, congratulated police and partners and encouraged greater collaboration to create safer communities.

“These figures show that the changes and improvements made in recent years to tackle crime are starting to take effect,” she said.

“In partnership with our residents we have created a force budget that has enabled 126 more officers to be recruited over four years, but this is only part of the solution.

“We also need to ensure that people report crimes, so we understand the nature of offending and know the extent of the challenge before us, for example, although the figures show a reduction in shoplifting, we know this is chronically under reported.”

With 59 crimes reported per 1,000 people in the period the force area was the third safest force area to live in England and Wales.

Serious violence was down 15%, theft was down 11%, burglary was down 9% and shoplifting was down 12%.

Devon & Cornwall police assistant chief constable Jim Colwell said: “Any decrease in overall crime is welcome and reflects the hard work put in by our officers and staff. The figures also confirm that Devon and Cornwall is the third safest force area in England and Wales, which is something we’re very proud of.

“Some of the figures show the impact of specific campaigns, for example targeting the possession of weapons or County Lines investigations into drug gangs.

“It’s also worth noting that although some uncommon categories of crime show an increase, this is based on very small numbers, so a few additional cases can result in a relatively large percentage increase.”

Crime can be reported online at, by email, webform or WebChat, or by calling 101. Incidents and intelligence can also be reported anonymously by contacting the charity Crimestoppers at or by calling 0800 555111.