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Significant decrease in recorded crime 25 April 2008

Chief Constable Mike LangdonEND of year crime performance statistics have revealed a significant decrease in the levels of recorded crime in the Island. Figures released today (Friday) by the Isle of Man Constabulary also highlight an overall detection rate of 56 per cent for 2007-08 — almost double the average achieved by police forces across England and Wales.

Total arrests in the Island for the past 12 months were similar to 2006-07, but have increased by 25 per cent compared with the average over the previous three years. This is partly down to the effectiveness of the Neighbourhood Policing Teams and a pro-active approach to arrests for certain alcohol-related offences.

Recorded crime fell substantially in virtually every category, with fewer instances of criminal damage, vehicle crime and public order offences. There was also a drop in the number of assaults after successive rises in recent years.

Against a backdrop of positive news across the board, one of the Manx Constabulary’s biggest success stories has been the dramatic reduction in the number of burglaries. A total of 161 burglaries and 18 attempted break-ins were recorded during 2007-08 which represents a 27 per cent reduction against the three-year average.

This is the first time in recent years that burglaries have dropped below 200 in a 12-month period — an achievement put into context by the 2003-04 total of 322. Solid progress has also been made in the fight against drugs, with the end of year statistics showing a substantial rise in the number of drug arrests. And the overall reduction in the number of recorded crimes in 2007-08 was accomplished despite the huge influx of visitors for the Centenary TT.

Chief Constable Mike Langdon said:

‘The annual figures represent the Isle of Man as being a safe place to live, work and visit. Some of these reductions reflect great credit on the Isle of Man as a whole and its increasingly focused approach towards community safety. The statistics demonstrate that police effort and focus — harnessed to partnerships with the public, other government departments and the voluntary sector — can reap benefits, of which we should collectively be very proud.’

However, the Chief Constable warned against complacency and stressed that many crimes were preventable. He urged members of the public to remain vigilant and ensure that their homes and vehicles were always left secure. And he said the Manx force would continue to maintain a high profile within the community and concentrate on delivering its neighbourhood policing initiatives.

‘Crime trends and statistics can fluctuate when numbers are low and that is why it is so important that we continue to focus on the more prevalent offenders, the more vulnerable victims and “hot spot” locations.'

Other opportunities for improvement revolve around complacency where houses and vehicles are sometimes left insecure and much of the recorded crime, in terms of dishonesty offences, is preventable.’

Key statistics from the end of year crime performance report show —

• 3,824 crimes were recorded during 2007-2008, a reduction of nine per cent against the three-year average and 17.5 per cent against the last recorded year.

• Vehicle crime fell by 12 per cent against the three-year average and when criminal damage to vehicles is included in this figure the reduction is almost 20 per cent.

• Instances of criminal damage fell by 23 per cent on the previous year — a reduction of 12 per cent over the past three years.

• Assaults show a slight reduction on last year’s reported figures. • Recorded instances of public order offences dropped by 27 per cent during the year.

• Arrests for drug-related offences showed an increase of 10 per cent over the past 12 months and a rise of 52 per cent against the three-year average.

Minister for Home Affairs Martyn Quayle MHK said:

‘The crime statistics are extremely encouraging and confirm the long-held belief that the Isle of Man is a safe place to live. The Isle of Man Constabulary, under the leadership of Chief Constable Mike Langdon, is to be applauded for achieving ever greater levels of efficiency within existing resources. Partnerships between the police and other sectors of the local community are increasing those levels of success and will continue to play a key role in maintaining the Island’s positive crime trends. Everybody has a part to play in creating a safer environment and strengthening working relationships with the police will be of benefit to the Island in general.’

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