Crime at ten year low

Crime in Derry has fallen to its lowest level in a decade - but burglary and theft are on the rise, new figures reveal.

Statistics released yesterday show crime fell in Derry by almost 3% last year compared to the previous twelve months. Police say crime in Derry is now at its lowest rate since 2001.

Derry’s top cop Chief Inspector Jon Burrows says while the drop in crime is pleasing “there are areas where we can make improvements”.

The PSNI figures reveal a total of 7446 crimes were recorded in the PSNI’s Foyle Area Command in 2010/11 - that’s around 620 per month or 20 per day.

“Any decrease in crime means fewer victims. However I am conscious there are areas where we can make improvements,” Chief Inspector Burrows says.

“Burglary has increased by 7.6% and theft by 10.3% but I am pleased to report a decrease in violent crime and criminal damage.”

Car thefts were up more than 20% but robberies were down by almost 25%, sexual offences by 14%, and offences against the state dropped by almost 10%.

Derry’s top cop also says the figures show police are clearing up more crimes.

“Overall clearance rates have increased in the area by 2.5% percentage points and we have seen improved detection rates for assaults, fraud and forgery and violent crime.”

The new police figures show a total of 2084 crimes were classified as “detected” by the PSNI last year.

The Chief Inspector says that is due to greater community involvement with the PSNI.

“As always we appreciate the continued support you have shown your officers and I have been greatly encouraged by the level of community contact that exists right across the area.

“We are keen to promote the services of your Neighbourhood Teams as much as possible and work with communities to resolve the issues that matter.

“If there are issues you think we should be focusing on then please get in touch with your local Neighbourhood Officer,” he says.

Across the PSNI’s G district - made up of Derry, Limavady, Strabane and Magherafelt - police say crime fell by 1.2%.