THEFT and vehicle-related crimes have risen in Dorset – but the county remains one of the safest in the country, according to new data.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) crime figures show in the 12 months from June 2022 to June 2023, overall crime in Dorset fell by 0.5 per cent, against a national average increase of 2.2 per cent.
Violence against the person fell by 1.3 per cent, lower than the national decrease of 0.8 per cent, while violence with injury fell by 7.2 per cent, compared to a national average of 0.8 per cent.
Reports of sexual offences dropped by 11.4 per cent, compared to a national decrease of 1.6 per cent.
Additionally, reports of rape offences reduced by 10.7 per cent, compared to a national decrease of 3.3 per cent.
However, incidents of theft increased by 6.8 per cent, while vehicle-related crimes rose by 7.2 per cent.
Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Farrell, of Dorset Police, said: “Dorset continues to be one of the safest areas to live, work and visit.
“All our officers, staff and volunteers are committed to making Dorset a safe county for everyone and ensuring that our communities are safe and feel safe.
“It is positive to see a decrease in sexual and violent offences during this time. We remain committed to reducing and preventing sexual offences and work closely with our partners in transforming the way we respond to, and investigate rape and sexual offences, as well as improving the criminal justice journey for victims of these heinous crimes.”
She said officers were “working hard” to tackle crimes that showed a rise.
“These crimes often cause fear, so we are working hard with our communities to engage, gather intelligence and investigate crimes so that we can target those responsible,” she added.
“Our crime prevention advice has been refreshed to help people protect themselves and their possessions. We are also working with our partners and business communities in a whole system approach to try and prevent crime and tackle the root causes.
“I would like to reassure the public that we continue to relentlessly pursue those criminals who cause the most harm to our communities, being tough on crime, keeping people safe and putting victims first. We remain dedicated to making Dorset a safe county for everyone.”
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick, said: “I am really encouraged by some of the results in the latest set of ONS figures.
“Dorset Police have achieved some good outcomes in areas that really matter to residents and communities, for example, we have seen a 14 per cent drop in residential burglary, which was one of the areas that over half of the respondents to my annual survey said concerned them and so to see that the Force have achieved a drop in the level of such a life-affecting crime is a real positive and I hope it will reassure residents and help them to ‘feel’ safer in their own homes.
“Also, to see a 7 per cent drop in the number of incidents of crimes termed as ‘violence with injury’, shows that the work being put into preventing violent crime in our communities is starting to have an impact.
“The policing terminology for this type of crime includes offences such as homicide, knife crime, and gun crime and areas of criminality where serious violence or its threat is inherent, such as in gangs and county lines drug dealing.
“I know that seeing a drop in the number of these types of crimes is really important to people.
“The work of the partners involved in the Bournemouth Town Team, the work of officers involved in Operation Fireglow and Operation Nightjar is working, is having an impact, and we are starting to push back against those who resort to the very worst kinds of destructive and deplorable acts of violence in our society.
“My thanks go to everyone; both in the front line and behind the scenes, who work so hard to keep our county one of the safest places in the country.”