[dropcap type =”circle”]L[/dropcap]atest crime figures released by Thames Valley Police today, (May 3) show that there were 138,710 crimes reported across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire from 1 April 2016 until 31 March 2017.
This is a 7.2% increase on the previous year where there were 129,449 reported crimes within the same time frame, but the increase is largely attributed to improvements in compliance with National Crime Recording Standards, following recommendations made by HMIC in 2014.
Overall crime levels in Thames Valley still remain low compared with five and ten years ago. There were 66,976 fewer crimes recorded in this timeframe compared with five years ago (205,686), and 8,357 fewer recorded offences compared with ten years ago (147,067).
Following the release of the figures, Deputy Chief Constable John Campbell, said: “The reasons for variations in crime data from year to year can be complex. As often is the case some of this is down to changes in crime recording and how we capture that information. However there are some increases in crime types, as well as increased victim confidence in reporting certain types of offences.
“In particular, the increase of domestic incidents, hate crime and some sexual offences further demonstrates the growing confidence of victims to report offences. These areas of crime have been underreported for years and I trust these figures show that, as a force, we have been successful in giving victims the trust to come forward, knowing they will be treated with compassion and sensitivity. I would additionally say that anyone who believes they have been a victim of any of these crimes should please come forward and report them to us.
“Certain increases also reflect how proactive and successful our teams have been in targeting offending. Drugs and possession of weapons offences are cases in point. I am pleased to see that our crime prevention work and targeted operations, as well as the Stronghold campaign, are having an impact. We also continue to adapt to meet new and emerging challenges, such as cyber enabled crime and modern slavery.
“I am proud of the dedicated officers and staff within our force, who regularly go above and beyond the line of duty in order to protect our communities. As a force, we are determined to prevent crime, bring offenders to justice and protect the most vulnerable.”
Chief Inspector Emma Garside, LPA Deputy Commander for Cherwell and West Oxfordshire, said: “The annual crime figures show that the local policing area of Cherwell & West Oxfordshire shares many of the same challenges as other areas in the force. We are pleased that the numbers of drugs offences have reduced, as this reinforces the work we have done locally under the Stronghold campaign.
“I am also pleased to see a reduction in the numbers of businesses falling victim to robbery as we actively promote the message of taking preventive steps when it comes to personal and property security.
“Overall however, crime in the area is up. We have seen an increase for the first time in a number of years of domestic burglary. This increase has been seen across the country and the increase is particularly in larger urban areas such as Banbury and Bicester. We are taking the necessary steps to identify potential causes and encourage the crime prevention messages in our communities.
“Crime isn’t just a police concern. We work hard at building and strengthening our relationships with our key partners in the local authority and other emergency services. We are grateful for the continued support of the public over this last year as we continue to protect the most vulnerable in our communities from harm and ensure our towns are villages are a safe place to live and work.”