Latest statistics highlight drop in burglary numbers
Wiltshire has seen a significant decrease in the number of burglaries since the introduction of the Community Tasking Teams in 2017.
The latest crime statistics for the county released today shows a decrease of 8% between July 2017 and June 2018.
The Community Tasking Teams (CTT) were introduced as a dedicated resource to tackle burglary and all Force priority crimes, in response to an increase in burglaries across the county.
The CTTs main focus has been on improving our residential burglary processes and clamping down on offenders. They also work closely with local community policing teams, and with specialist Crime Scene Investigators (CSI), to ensure the biggest possible impact is made on prolific offenders who blight the lives of our local communities.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson said: "Burglary is a high impact crime that can be devastating for victims, and it is incredibly encouraging to see that the community tasking teams are starting to have an impact and the courts are sending a clear message to offenders when sentencing.
"I have continuously challenged the Force over the past three years and I'm pleased to see that the way in which they tackle burglary is improving, and it's important that they do not lose this momentum and the improvements continue."
Today's statistics also highlighted an increase in recorded crime of 3%, compared to the national average of 10% and 5% regionally.
Nationally, violent crime is on the increase with 22% rise across the country in robbery offences and an increase of 12% in Wiltshire.
Mr Macpherson added: "The increase in violent crime nationally is of great concern. Whilst the demand on police forces across the country is more diverse than ever before and crime increasing it's clear to see that more resources are needed and increased funding from the Government.
"I have been pressing this case with ministers at every available opportunity; Wiltshire is the third lowest funded Force and receives £20 less per person than the national average of £171.
"I have less money to keep the public safe than all of the PCCs who border us. It's a policing postcode lottery and is unacceptable."
Wiltshire has seen a stark improvement in the number of drug offences with a 14% decrease, and tackling county lines is a Force priority. Other Force priorities include cybercrime, child sexual exploitation, modern slavery and domestic abuse.
County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of 'deal line'. They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move (and store) the drugs and money and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons.
Assistant Chief Constable Craig Holden said: "Significant efforts have been focused on burglaries since we recognised that improvements had to be made in our response, investigations, offender management and long-term prevention if we were to reduce this type of crime which can massively impact on people's lives.
"But we are not complacent, we still have work to do and are determined to continue to tackle this dreadful crime, bring offenders to justice and provide positive outcomes and a better service to victims.
"The increase in robbery in Wiltshire maybe well below the national average but we recognise this concerning rise which is why we are employing significant resources into tackling knife crime; like our recent Op Sceptre knife crime initiative and amnesty which saw more than 400 weapons handed in.
"Violent crime is often linked to drugs and we have also been working hard around county lines, disrupting violent drugs gangs which attempt to operate in our county exploiting and manipulating vulnerable people.
"Our focus on pursuing those responsible for county lines drugs supply is relentless, as is our focus on protecting and safeguarding the children and vulnerable adults who are exploited. We continue to work hard with other agencies to try and reduce the demand for problematic drugs, improving the provision of treatment services and diverting vulnerable people away from drug use.
"This is the long-term solution to reducing the violent crime associated with drug supply and we are committed to supporting prevention as much as enforcement."