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Chief Constable’s Annual Report is published 9 October 2006

The Chief Constable’s Annual Report 2005-2006 is to be laid before the October sitting of Tynwald.

It acknowledges that the Isle of Man has seen an increase of 19.9% in recorded crime in the year to April 2006. However, Chief Constable Mike Culverhouse reassures the community that the Island remains a very safe place to live with few serious crimes being committed. The increase is directly linked to greater compliance with UK national crime recording standards and more offenders being brought to justice by way of greater pro-active work by officers and members of the Isle of Man Special Constabulary.

Mr Culverhouse said:

‘In 2004 the HMIC Inspection Team identified that we had around 10% under-recording of crimes against the strict rigour imposed by UK national recording standards*. This was not unexpected and not out of the norms experienced in the UK. We have responded to this very positively and I suspect we will be closer now to 100% compliance than any force in the British Isles. Our increase in crime partly results from our unambiguous desire to comply fully with the national standard.’
‘Taken in isolation, the number of offences has risen from 3,632 in 2004-2005 to 4,354 this year. That represents an increase of 19.9% but with such extremely low figures, even slight variations have a disproportionate impact when expressed in percentage terms. The increase of 772 offences actually means an additional two minor offences were recorded per day on an Island-wide basis – that’s 11 offences per day compared with nine per day in the previous 12 months. The increase is also due to increased productivity by police officers who made 71 more drugs arrests and 78 more public order arrests, as well as the improved efficiency in recording crimes. It’s worth noting that the increase is 9.6% above the average crime levels assessed over the last three years and this brings a better perspective on the increase.’

Annual crime statistics for the 43 police forces in England and Wales show an annual crime to population ratio of between 89 and 139 crimes per 1,000 head of population. The Isle of Man’s figure remains very low at 56.5 crimes per 1,000 people.

Mr Culverhouse added:

‘My report also details the effectiveness of the Island’s police force in terms of its exceptionally high detection rate and community engagement. During the year, the Isle of Man Constabulary achieved a 43.2% detection rate, a significant improvement on 38.8% in 2004-2005. Over the past three years the detection rate averaged 35.6% while the average across England and Wales in 2004/2005 was 26%. Our performance in this area is excellent and I congratulate all concerned on a wonderful achievement. In fact, the excellent work continues with the latest figures to the end of September showing a detection rate of above 50%.’

The Annual Report details the success of links with community organisations to reduce instances of anti-social behaviour and the reduction of the amount of controlled drugs on Island streets. The value of Class A drugs seized by police for the year was £149,922, up from £72,262 the previous year, representing an increase of 107%. Also, drug arrests went up from 125 in 2004-2005 to 202 in 2005-2006 and this represents an increase of 61%.

Home Affairs Minister John Shimmin commented:

‘The Chief Constable has kept my Department informed of the rise in crime and the reasons behind it. There was and is no intention to mislead with the compilation of the crime statistics but methods and systems of recording are constantly improving and management should be praised for their efficiency drive. There is much to commend in the report and people should look beyond the headline statistics at the real achievements of the force.’

Mike Culverhouse added:

‘The Isle of Man Constabulary continues to support neighbourhood policing and its success in building relationships with the community is paying dividends. Foot patrols over the year increased by 8.3% while the success of Project Centurion to make Douglas promenade a safer place has been recognised internationally by it winning the prestigious Herman Goldstein Award in America.’

Copies of the 40-page Chief Constable’s Annual Report can be obtained from police stations or by emailing carol.little@gov.im.

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