Apr 27 2009 By Dan Coombs
Hillingdon chief superintendent Carl Bussey
HILLINGDON crime figures show that fears of a credit-crunch crime wave has not struck the borough, with the lowest total of crimes for 10 years.
While burglaries, youth crime, and robberies are all on the slide, alarmingly rapes have almost doubled in the last year and domestic violence has also increased in the borough.
Between April 1 of last year and March 29 of this year there were 965 fewer crimes than the same period the year before.
So-called acquisitive crime, believed to be on the rise nationally has actually dropped, with a reduction in motor vehicle crime featuring strongly in the statistics.
Borough Commander Carl Bussey, said: "Crime figures always cause debate, but my overall reaction is that I'm really proud of our achievements.
"It shows our lowest total for over 10 years and significant reductions where there is concern in the community."
Burglaries dropped last year to 3,143 offences from 3,364, an seven per cent reduction, in an area considered to be on the rise nationally.
Violent assaults increased however from 5,876 cases to 6,135, a four per cent rise.
Mr Bussey added: "We asked residents last year what their number one concerns were, and I'm quite proud that we are showing double figure decreases in burglaries. We are having some good luck with the criminal justice system."
"I'm aware we'll face challenges this year, will the decline in offences continue or will it plateau out, general research shows crime goes up in the recession, although its a little early to make that link in Hillingdon."
"Domestic violence is linked to an economic downturn, and we are doing a lot of work with this, we have a specific domestic violence court in Uxbridge to deal with offences.
"Racial crime is up 14 per cent, but our detection rates are also up, if the detection rates were not increasing then I would say we had a problem.
"We know rape is under-reported, so to have more reports coming through is significant."
For more on Borough Commander Carl Bussey's reaction to crime figures and other police matters see this week's Uxbridge Gazette for his monthly column.
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