House burglaries in Cherwell and West Oxfordshire have reduced by more than 18 per cent in Thames Valley Police’s annual crime statistics report.
The figure reduced from 318 in 2013/14 to 260 in 2014/15 after a year of police work focussed on tackling the crime, with the overall number of burglaries also cut by 7.8 per cent, from 905 incidents to 834.
Rape and the sexual abuse of children have historically been underreported crimes and we are pleased that people are now turning to the force, knowing that we can help.Supt Kath Lowe, LPA commender for Cherwell and West Oxfordshire
In total, crime across the Local Policing Area (LPA) fell by 4.6 per cent in the last year, from 10,926 overall incidents in 2013/14 to 10.421 in 2014/15.
Superintendent Kath Lowe, area commander for Cherwell and West Oxfordshire, said these figures show the area is a safe place to live.
She said: “Crime continues to fall year-on-year and the prevention work we are doing with partners across our communities is paying dividends.
“I am particulary pleased that the hard work has resulted in the number of burglaries falling in Cherwell and West Oxfordshire. We know that having our home invaded and your property ransacked can be a traumatic experience to go through, and it is for this reason that it is one of our priority areas.”
Other improvements in the area include robbery reduced by 47.9 per cent, drug offences down 16.2 per cent and vehicle crime from 968 incidents in 2013/14 to 809 in 2014/15, a reduction of 16.4 per cent.
But reports of rape have increased in the area in the last year - up from 65 incidents in 2013/14 to 112 in 2014/15.
In almost a third of all the reported cases, the incident took place before April 2014 - more than a year ago in many cases.
This highlights the increased confidence the public has, particularly after recently high-profile sex abuse cases, to report these crimes to police.
Supt Lowe said: “Rape and the sexual abuse of children have historically been underreported crimes and we are pleased that people are now turning to the force, knowing that we can help.
“These figures prove what I see every day; police officers and staff working hard to catch criminals and make Cherwell and West Oxfordshire a safer place.
“They also provide that if you are a victim of crime you can trust us because we will help you.
Cherwell and West Oxfordshire officers have focused on tackling Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) since the Oxford child abuse case. Operation Bullfinch was launched in 2011.
This has seen reports of CSE increase from 14 incidents in 2013/14 to 36 in 2014/15 and successful convictions, including of six men for CSE offences in Banbury as part of Operation Reportage.
Francis Habgood, chief constable at Thames Valley Police, said: “Crime in the Thames Valley continues to fall and victim satisfaction remains high. The reduction for robbery, burglary and vehicle theft is particularly significant.
“This is testament to the officers, staff and volunteers who, with the support of members of the public and partners, worked so hard to achieve this.
“The greater reporting of sexual offences is encouraging and we will continue to safeguard and protect victims of these crimes and thoroughly investigate each case.
“Violence has risen in the last year, but levels in Thames Valley have been lower than national averages and we will continue to work with our partners and local communities to tackle these crimes.”