Crime continues to fall across Comet Country

CRIME continues to fall throughout Comet country. Latest figures published by Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire constabularies for the period between April and December 2007 show encouraging trends making both counties among the safest in the country to live

CRIME continues to fall throughout Comet country.

Latest figures published by Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire constabularies for the period between April and December 2007 show encouraging trends making both counties among the safest in the country to live.

In Hertfordshire crime has dropped overall by 13 per cent with almost 9,000 fewer crimes than during the same period the previous year.

In Stevenage the fall in crime is even better at 14 per cent with just over 1,000 fewer incidents recorded.

Domestic burglary is down six per cent in the town with robbery down a massive 24 per cent. The only blip is that vehicle crime is up seven per cent.

North Herts mirrors the overall crime trend for the county with the number of incidents down 13 per cent. Vehicle crime was down six per cent and robbery by nine per cent.

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The only black mark was in the area of domestic burglary which was up by 19 per cent.

Ian Laidlaw-Dickson, chairman of Hertfordshire Police Authority, said: "Hertfordshire remains one of the safest counties in the country. Crime figures are already low and are reducing even further.

"The latest figures are encouraging, especially at a force level, although we can never be complacent."

Bedfordshire police say they cannot break down their crime figure for individual areas but say there were 5,000 fewer crimes, indicating the force's attempts to cut crime, detect more offences and improve investigation techniques are starting to pay off.

The reduction in crime also comes just months after a Government report branded Bedfordshire police as the worst performing force in England and Wales.

Including in the figures is a reduction in violent incidents of more than 1,200.

Assistant chief constable (ACC) Katherine Govier, responsible for leading the fight to drive down crime in the county, said: "After a challenging 2006 the force realised dramatic changes were required if we were to see a reduction in crime figures as well as detecting more crime.

"Since April last year a tremendous amount of work has been done and hopefully we are all starting to see the benefits."

Last year Bedfordshire police instigated the crime investigation service plan in an attempt to detect more offences but increased staff training and also linked with Hertfordshire to form the major crime unit, which investigated serious crimes.

ACC Govier added: "These are just some of the measures being put in place to help turn performance around in Bedfordshire.

"We are delighted that so far this has seen a reduction of 5,000 fewer victims of crime but we must sustain this reduction.

"Our plan may have seen a dramatic turn around in our crime figures in the last three months of 2007 but we are not complacent. There is still a lot to do.

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