Figures released by the Office of National Statistics relating to crime across the country has shown that while national crime rates are up by 4%, crime in Dorset has risen by just 0.3%.
The figures relate to the 12 months between December 2018 and December 2019. They indicate that despite the national increase in crime, Dorset has the 9th lowest crime rate and the 11th lowest number of victims in the country, and show both burglary and theft have significantly decreased in the period across Dorset.
The statistics are encouraging for Dorset Police, and Deputy Chief Constable David Lewis hopes it will help people feel safer in their communities: “Dorset Police have excellent crime recording practices and although we have seen a very small increase in crime over the period, this is far lower than the rest of the country.
“Crime figures are only one measure of our performance and success, but our communities should feel reassured that they remain some of the lowest figures in the country.
“As always, we will be looking at the data to see where we can improve and learn, working with our communities to further prevent crime and, at times, a disproportionate fear of crime.”
It is a sentiment echoed by Martyn Underhill, the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, and he’s determined to see local rates improve from here: “The figures demonstrate very clearly that Dorset continues to be one of the safest places to live, with a Force than punches above its weight. Although dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is clearly the priority, I will be examining these figures very closely and discussing with the Chief Constable what the Force is able to do better.”
While the statistics are a positive indication of the progress being made, DCC Lewis wants to make sure nobody loses sight of the victims of crime as people, and the importance of maintaining a sense of safety in the community: “Any crime has a significant impact on a victim and we will always do everything possible to put the victim at the forefront of our minds and investigation.
“Policing has faced some significant challenges in recent years, but the fact Dorset remains safe is a complement to our staff, officers and partnerships with our communities.
“We will always seek to build on this to ensure communities are at the heart of everything we do.”