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Anti Social Behaviour drop for South Wales

Police and Crime Commissioneer Alun Michael

Anti-social behaviour in South Wales has dropped by 38% in the last year, according to figures released by the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales today.

The figures show that the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour fell from 71,616 in 2011-12 to 44,426 in 2012-13 – equalling 27,190 fewer victims in the last year.
Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales, Alun Michael, said: “The drop in anti-social behaviour is exceptional news. Members of the public have told us that this area is a priority, and should be tackled, which is why it is a key focus of my Police and Crime Reduction Plan. South Wales Police have worked hard with our local authorities, our communities and our other partners to see these results.”
Alongside the drop in anti-social behaviour, Home Office figures show that overall crime has dropped by 3.2% in the last year – equal to 2,822 fewer victims, between April 2012 and March 2013.
Mr Michael said: “200 years ago Sir Robert Peel said ‘the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it’. These words are as true today as they were two centuries ago, which is why the continued reduction in crime in South Wales is such good news.
“Our communities can be reassured that the South Wales Police team is working hard to keep tackling crime. While the drop in crime is not as large as other forces, crime in South Wales is at its lowest for 30 years – that’s a fact.
“There has also been a consistent drop in crime every year for the last six years. Since 2007, crime has fallen by nearly 32% - which is equal to 39,440 fewer victims.
“Not only has there been a drop in crime levels, but there has been an increase in the proportion detected, from 24.0% in 2006 to 32.6% in the last year.
“I am particularly pleased that there has continued to be a drop in domestic burglary. The impact of someone having their house broken into and burgled can be devastating, which is why it is so important to keep tackling this issue. In the last 12 months, there have been 201 fewer victims of burglary – down 4.6% (from 4,362 to 4,161). Alongside this, there has been an impressive 8% increase in the detection rate.”
Amongst the figures announced today is a 22.2% increase in the number of sexual offences (up from 946 to 1,156). Mr Michael said: “So often with these crimes, the victim can feel too vulnerable to contact the police, and so they go unrecorded and unpunished. The fact that we have seen such an increase is good news, as it shows people have trust in the way our officers handle these cases.
“Tackling violence against women and girls is a key priority not only for me, but for the Welsh Government. The increase in reporting these sexual offences is a positive step, and hopefully more victims will feel confident to come forward.”
Other figures announced today show a 9.8% drop in criminal damage and arson, and 15.6% drop in public order offences. There was, however, an increase in the level of violence against the person, which rose by 9.7%.
Mr Michael concluded: “The message from these figures is that crime in South Wales has continued to fall. That is despite the savage funding cuts imposed by the Government.
“It is down to the tremendous work of Chief Constable Peter Vaughan, and all of the officers and staff of South Wales Police and the excellence of the co-operation with our local partners, particularly the seven local councils. The work of Youth Offending Teams and local Community Safety Partnerships continues to make a massive contribution despite the challenges of austerity and cuts.
“While crime continues to fall, we are taking steps to become even more visible across communities. This includes the increase in Community Support Officers patrolling our streets, thanks to the funding support of Welsh Government. In addition, our mobile police stations are out across South Wales every day to increase the presence in our local areas.
“There are crimes which have increased in the past 12 months, but we are always working to reduce them. Most crime is opportunistic, and the public can help officers to reduce crime by taking steps to keep themselves and their property safe. By locking windows and doors, not leaving valuables on show and keeping property in a safe and secure place, it cuts out the easy option for thieves.
“Reducing and detecting crime is one of the key objectives for me, and is shared by the Chief Constable, Peter Vaughan. There has been tremendous success in recent years to cut the amount of crime that takes place in South Wales. However, we cannot afford to be complacent.
“By working with our partners, particularly in local government, and with our elected representatives across South Wales I will build on the excellent foundations already in place and continue to develop a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime, and provide the public with a voice in policing matters.”

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