OFFICERS and members of the public have been praised following a drop in crime across Morpeth.
Police have unveiled 2012/13 statistics for the sector, which covers the town and its surrounding villages. They show that the total number of offences was 850 – a fall of 4.5 per cent compared to the previous year.
There were reductions in violent crime (26.7 per cent), burglary (18.1 per cent) and vehicle crime (8.6 per cent), although criminal damage increased by 10.3 per cent.
Further progress was made in tackling anti-social behaviour as there have been fewer victims of it over the last 12 months. There were 117 of these incidents, which is 10 per cent lower than the 2011/12 figure.
Morpeth Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Simpson said “This past year we have managed to further reduce levels of crime, which is down to the hard work of my officers and staff, our partners and the community of Morpeth. All have played their part in ensuring that Morpeth and its surrounding areas remain a safe and attractive place to live and visit.
“During the year there have been some challenging periods, but by working together we have been able to target those responsible for crime and disorder and by working with the community we have gained vital information which has helped us to identify offenders.
“We have also worked tirelessly with Northumberland County Council and Isos Housing to target those individuals responsible for anti-social behaviour and resolve local issues. The key is to ensure we continue to deliver this success throughout the next year. There is no doubt that this will be a challenge but my staff and our partners will continue to deliver the best possible service to the community, we will continue to target those responsible for offences and anti-social behaviour and ensure that offenders are brought to justice.”
Northumbria Police has also revealed that year-on-year crime in Northumberland decreased by eight per cent.
Offences have fallen in most categories, including violent crime, drugs, burglary and serious acquisitive crime.
Sexual offences and racially or religiously aggravated crimes have seen the biggest reductions, with both down by over 40 per cent.
There was a slight increase in criminal damage and the number of robberies was the same as 2011/12.
l Residents can now follow the Northumberland sector on Twitter – @NPNmbland.