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Island crime falls 16% 5 October 2007

CRIME fell 16% during the first half of the year (April-September 2007), a reduction of 407 offences from to 2,527 to 2,120.

Despite the demands of the Centenary TT and the busiest Manx Grand Prix for many years, the Isle of Man experienced less crime in almost every category.

Domestic burglaries are at the lowest level for a decade and down 40% over the last three years; deception offences are down 63% and domestic assaults continued the slow-down recorded last year with a further reduction of 38%. Only the Eastern policing area recorded an increase in criminal damage offences – the major issue for the Island – which was balanced by other regions, particularly southern and western areas. Overall the Island enjoyed a 20% decrease of 174 criminal damage offences, with the second quarter showing a fall of more than 50% in damage offences.

The detection rate remains solid at 54.7% compared with 55.7% at the same stage last year and 38.9% the year before.

Home Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle MHK commented:

‘The half year statistics from the Constabulary are very encouraging. Officers are achieving ever greater efficiency within existing resources and continue to make the Island a safe place to live and visit. Improvements have been made in crime recording to comply with UK national standards, making these significant improvements all the more impressive.
‘I want to congratulate the Chief Constable, the Constabulary’s senior management and all police officers for contributing to these remarkable interim figures. I recognise that the closer working relationships the Constabulary have developed with the community have contributed, and we hope they are able to strengthen those relationships in the future and build on this success through the rest of the year. Meanwhile, the figures will assist the Department in drafting the Policing Plan for 2008-9.’

Moderate increases were seen in non-domestic assaults – up by 6% or 17 incidents – and traffic collisions. Provisional data suggests there were 28 more collisions, also representing a 6% increase, although that should be viewed against tourism figures showing 60% more visitors travelled for the Centenary TT and brought 80% more vehicles. Without that influx, the level of collisions would seem to be on a par with 2006.

Drugs offences fell by 10% over the same period last year, although that is acknowledged to be 39.6% higher than two years ago. The volume and value of seizures is around double last year, at a total street value of £127,983 to date this year, compared with £63,550 April-September 2006.

Acting Chief Constable Mike Langdon commented:

‘The performance of the Constabulary over the past 18 months has been terrifically strong. The half year data demonstrates what we are able to achieve through neighbourhood policing based upon effective local delivery of services by local officers working closely with the community. I am confident that the Constabulary is well placed to make further performance improvements.’

Figures for the Neighbourhood Policing Teams seem to indicate Douglas crime is down 8% overall, with a reduction of 26% in criminal damage. However, assaults in the district were up 9.5% accounting for all the Force’s increase. For the first time Douglas had the best detection rate, up 2% on last year to 58.4%. Eastern saw a fall in all crimes of just 1% with criminal damage increasing by 18%. Northern saw a significant fall of 28% in crime over the period and now accounts for just 9% of the Island’s total. Southern had a reduction of almost 39%, with criminal damage offences halving. Western crime fell 33% and the area accounts for 7.5% of crime, compared with 12% in the southern area.

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