Crime falls for fifth year in Hampshire

PLEASED Chief Constable Alex Marshall
PLEASED Chief Constable Alex Marshall

People told not to be alarmed by armed police officers on patrol

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HAMPSHIRE’S top policeman has praised his officers after the number of crimes reported fell for the fifth year running.

Chief Constable Alex Marshall paid tribute to the ‘tireless dedication’ of his staff as figures show 129,327 crimes were reported force-wide last year – down three per cent from 133,462 the previous year.

It comes despite Hampshire police having to make savings to cut costs by £53m by 2015.

The figures show that on average 354 crimes were still reported to police every day.

Mr Marshall said: ‘This is a fantastic achievement, especially in these difficult times, and I pay tribute to the tireless dedication, commitment, hard work and “one team” approach of my officers and staff.

‘If you’ve been a victim of crime we know the devastating effect it can have on your life.

‘That’s why my number one priority is to protect the people we serve from those who would cause them harm.

‘The savings we’ve had to make have presented us with very difficult challenges and choices but I’d like to take this opportunity to focus on what we’ve achieved and the potential we have to continue to adapt, innovate and invest.’

Of the crimes reported last year 40,113 – 31 per cent – were solved, compared to 28 per cent the year before.

Robberies, burglaries and vehicle crime are down by 10 per cent to 15,643 from 1,793.

There were 206 fewer house burglaries, bringing the total to 4,995.

The drop comes after police relaunched Operation Nemesis to crack down on the crime.

Geoff Charnley, chairman of the force-wide Independent Advisory Group which is made up of volunteers from the community, said: ‘No organisation is perfect but I have personally found Hampshire Constabulary eager to listen, learn and take appropriate action to improve policing generally.’