Dorset is now the sixth safest area in the country after experiencing a rise in crime that is notably lower than other parts of England and Wales.
Data released on Thursday 27 October 2022 by the Office for National Statistics shows that overall crime rose by 5 per cent in Dorset during the 12 months to 30 June 2022, which is less than half the national average rise of 12.5 per cent.
Like previously released statistics, a rise in crime during this period was expected as the figures are directly compared with the same months in 2020 and 2021 in which the country was subjected to national and regional COVID-19 lockdowns and saw a significant fall in crime.
David Sidwick, Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, said: ‘I am really pleased to see that Dorset has gone up to sixth in the ratings for being one of the safest counties in England and Wales – it is my aim to make Dorset the safest county and so seeing us go up in the ratings is both validation for the work that is happening in the county and good news for the people of Dorset.
‘Despite crime figures going up, I am pleased to see that they are less than half the rate of the national average here in Dorset, with reductions in crime across many of the areas directly related to my Police and Crime Plan, including stalking and harassment and anti-social behaviour. I am particularly pleased to note that there has also been a considerable drop in both business crime and community crime over the last year.
‘I would like to thank all the officers, staff and volunteers involved in keeping our residents and communities safe and I vow to continue to work alongside the Chief Constable, as well as all our other invaluable stakeholder partners to make Dorset the safest county.’
Chief Constable Scott Chilton said: ‘Dorset continues to be one of the safest counties in the country to live and visit and the rise in crime experienced here post COVID-19 pandemic, compared to other parts of the country, has seen the Force move up another place to be the sixth safest area in England and Wales.
‘We will continue to strive to be the safest county in the country and remain driven to relentlessly pursue those criminals who cause the most harm to our communities, keeping people safe and putting victims first.
‘In the past 18 months, Dorset has moved from ninth safest county to sixth safest. We are seeing less crime, bringing more offenders to justice, reducing anti-social behaviour and seeing reductions in community and business crime.
‘This improvement is a testament to the work our officers and staff have carried out to identify offenders, secure positive outcomes, work with local and business communities to prevent offences from occurring in the first place and working to prevent anti-social behaviour. Our strong partnerships with our stakeholders demonstrates our whole systems approach to continue to make Dorset the safest county.’