Latest ONS Crime Figures Announced

18th February 2016

The figures, which look at the 12 months to September 2015 as compared to the 12 months to September 2014, show that a total of 37,306 crimes were recorded during the latest period which is an increase of just over 1400 crimes

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: "Securing accurate crime data is crucial and something which has been high on my agenda since I was elected. Gwent Police has led the way in this respect and the Chief Constable has shown strong leadership in placing the quality of service the public receive before the need to meet numerical targets. As a result of continuous improvement in recording practices nationwide, 32 of the 43 Forces in England and Wales are now showing an increase in recorded crime.

There is some really good news for Gwent, especially in respect of the significant reduction in the number of dwelling burglaries (-11%). This reduction is nearly double the national average and shows that the Force's operations to target and prosecute burglars is working. It was also pleasing to see a reduction in the number of incidents of criminal damage in comparison with an upward trend nationally.

Recorded sexual offences both nationally and in Gwent have increased and this reflects the public's increased confidence in reporting these crimes. Six out of ten of the serious sexual offences against children recorded in Gwent are of an historical nature. We have also seen an increase in the overall satisfaction of crime victims in the service they receive from Gwent Police and this direction of travel is continuing.

I am reassured by these latest statistics and I believe the public can have full confidence in the Force where crime recording is concerned."

Assistant Chief Constable, Julian Williams said:

"The increase we have experienced in overall crime in Gwent doesn't come as any surprise, and as we have said previously we expect this due to continual improvement in the consistency of our crime recording.
I welcome the fact that we've seen an 11% decrease in burglary which is higher than the national average, as well as drops in criminal damage, arson, vehicle crime and bicycle theft. Whilst this is positive, it might be cold comfort for those who have been victims of these crimes. However, I can reassure those who have been victims of crime we continue to work hard to support them and bring the people who commit these crimes to justice.

We have seen increases in other categories especially around violence against the person (this includes domestic violence) and sex offences, both in line with the picture nationally.

The increases in these categories are likely to be down to a combination of factors; including more consistent crime recording, and more importantly, the greater confidence and willingness of victims to engage with police and partner agencies to report such incidents knowing that they will be listened to and their reports acted upon."

Chief Constable Jeff Farrar added: "We continue to work hard to develop and improve the victim-focussed service we provide to the public at a time when our operating budget remains challenging.

Reliable and accurate data is extremely important for us in order to better direct our limited resources, however, it does not provide a complete picture. The statistics don't for example include work around speeding, drink and drug driving and other offences which we have a duty to investigate, and are issues the public tell us they want us to tackle.

I am very proud of the efforts of my officers and staff. Working with partner agencies and the public we will continue to make Gwent a safer place, and where crime does occur we will fully support victims and do our best to bring offenders to justice."

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