Police welcome fall in rates of crime

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WIGAN has seen a significant fall in crime rates during the past year.

The borough saw an almost 10 per cent decrease with a fall in figures in each of the 12 categories used to record various offences.

Substantial reductions were seen in sexual offences, which fell 28 per cent from 240 to 171 incidents, and robberies, which had a 21 per cent decrease from 181 to 142.

While cases of fraud and forgery (15 per cent), offences against vehicles (12 per cent) and drug offences (10 per cent) also saw significant decreases.

Wigan Police chief Andrea Jones said that her officers would not be taking the figures for granted.

The superintendent said: “These figures are a great indication that crime is moving in the right direction. However, we will not become complacent.

“In particular there has been a reduction in robbery which is great news and shows that the work we have been doing to protect our most vulnerable people and bring those offenders to justice is making a difference to our community.”

A total of 16,758 crimes were reported in the 12 months leading up to September 2012, compared to 18,422 the previous year, showing a nine per cent fall.

There were 39 less victims of robbery and 80 less victims of violence against persons resulting in injury during that period.

Supt Jones added: “Working with our partners and the local community over the last 12 months, we have demonstrated that we can problem solve and find a resolution with building on the relationships that exist and I am confident we can reduce crime even further.

“Over the past 12 months some of our work has included a violent crime initiative which has helped us to reduce this area of crime by two per cent.”

Wigan’s reduction in crime rates mirrors the rest of the country as recorded incidents fell by 8.4 per cent nationwide.

For the years ending September 2011 and September 2012, 8.9m crimes were recorded, down from 9.6m, and 29 per cent lower than 10 years ago, according to the figures from the Office of National Statistics.

The numbers counter widely accepted views that crime rates tend to increase during times of economic hardship.