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First quarter crime figures show significant fall 5 August 2008

Police officer on patrolFIGURES released for the first quarter of the 2008-09 policing year reveal a significant fall in the levels of recorded crime in the Isle of Man.

All major categories of crime show dramatic reductions and many are now at their lowest for a decade. The Isle of Man Constabulary’s overall detection rate also remains the highest in the British Isles at 49 per cent.

However, against this backdrop of encouraging news the police have warned against complacency and urged members of the public to play their part in driving down the statistics even further. Deputy Chief Constable Gary Roberts said that taking steps to prevent opportunistic crime would help to maintain and improve the positive trends being achieved in the Island.

His comments follow the release of crime performance data for the first three months of the policing year to the end of June 2008. The report reveals that recorded crime fell by 22.6 per cent compared with the same period last year and by 22 per cent against the three-year average. This latest reduction follows an overall drop of 18 per cent recorded in the policing year to the end of March 2008.

Key statistics from the first quarter crime performance report show –

* Assaults fell by 24 per cent

* Criminal damage fell by 21 per cent

* The taking of vehicles fell by 35 per cent

* Domestic burglaries fell by 38 per cent

* Other burglaries fell by 52 per cent

The development of neighbourhood policing is at the heart of this success and will remain at the forefront of efforts to reinforce the Island’s reputation as a safe place to live, work and visit. Strong partnerships with other government and community agencies and early intervention for certain alcohol-related offences have also had an impact on the crime figures. In other categories, figures for drug seizures show an increase, with several major hauls of illegal substances being made in the period.

The overall number of road traffic collisions also fell, with serious incidents down by almost half. However, the number of fatalities was higher than for the same period last year – five compared with two. Four of those fatalities occurred during TT 2008.

The Isle of Man’s detection rate stands at an impressive 49 per cent which is far in excess of the national average across the British Isles. This represents a reduction of approximately six per cent on 2007-08, but that is attributed to a further tightening of the criteria used for recording detected crime.

Deputy Chief Constable Gary RobertsDeputy Chief Constable Roberts said:

‘The Isle of Man Constabulary should not be judged solely on the latest figures that have been released. There are other major factors that ought to be considered, not least of which are how safe people actually feel, how confident they are in what we can do for them and how satisfied they are with the quality of service that we can provide. That said, the figures yet again demonstrate just how safe the Island is and how the continuing development of neighbourhood policing is making a real difference to the safety of the Island and its people. We can drive down the figures even further. Members of the public have a part to play in stopping opportunistic criminals by taking simple measures to protect their property.’

Minister for Home Affairs Martyn Quayle MHK added:

‘This latest reduction in recorded crime underlines the excellent work that is being carried out by the Isle of Man Constabulary. It should also be noted that these extremely encouraging results have been achieved during a busy period for the police. Officers had to contend with several major investigations putting a strain on staffing levels, particularly at detective level, which makes these achievements even more commendable.’

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