CRIME in Cheshire has fallen to its lowest level for more than 20 years, according to new figures released by the Home Office.
The Crime Survey for England and Wales revealed there were 57,899 crimes recorded within the county between October 2011 and September 2012, a fall of 5% compared to the previous year.
Among the biggest year-to-year drops were fraud and forgery (-22%), drug offences (-15%) and robbery (-10%).
The biggest category of crime to increase from year to year was violence against the person without causing injury. However, this is offset by the 11% decrease in violence against the person causing injury – a figure which includes victims of domestic assault.
Assistant Chief Constable Janette McCormick welcomed the findings.
She said: “Our focus is very much on the impact crime can have on its victims and, happily, in Cheshire the chances of becoming a victim are at their lowest since 1990.
“For some time now we have adopted a sustained and intelligence led approach to reducing crime and anti-social behaviour in an effort to reduce levels of offending and in turn improve the quality of life for our residents and businesses.
“Particularly reassuring is the indication victims of rape and serious sexual offences have the confidence in policing to come forward and report the matter to us, resulting in more perpetrators of sex crimes – particularly historical sex crimes – being brought to justice. This has resulted in an increase in the number of sexual offences recorded.”
Vehicle crime also fell, as 300 fewer offences were reported compared to the same period in 2011.
A fall of 11% in violent crime that includes violence against the person causing injury equates to 600 fewer victims, including those victims subject to domestic assault.
The Constabulary has recently launched campaigns to raise awareness of issues including safe and responsible drinking and support for victims of domestic abuse.
There has also been a strong focus on policing the night-time economy.
John Dwyer, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “I am delighted to see the crime figures for Cheshire continue to fall.
“This is due to the dedication and commitment of the all the officers and staff who work hard to keep the people of Cheshire safe.
“I also believe that it can be attributed to the work being done with the most persistent and prolific criminals to reduce re-offending.”