Crime is continuing to fall in Lancashire, with the latest statistics showing there were 4,088 fewer victims of crime in the county last year.
The final end of year statistics for July 2012 to June 2013 showed reductions across the majority of crime categories.
Overall, reports of crime fell by 4.3 per cent from 95,692 to 91,604 in comparison to the previous year.
Lancashire Constabulary is pleased to see that the figures show a 17.4 per cent reduction in drug offences, from 4,793 to 3,961 – 832 fewer crimes.
Criminal damage is also down by 9 per cent from 18,232 to 16,589 – a reduction of 2,306 victims – and robbery has reduced in Lancashire by 7.5 per cent from 679 offences to 628 – a reduction of 51 offences.
In addition, there were 220 less public order offences, with crimes falling 7.8 per cent, from 2,838 to 2,618 and 150 less violence against the person crimes which reduced by 0.8%, down from 18,712 to 18,562.
Theft offences were reduced by 1,384 crimes from 47,429 to 46,046 – a difference of 9 per cent.
There were 51 fewer people caught in possession of weapons, with offences falling 9 per cent from 565 to 514
Robbery offences also reduced with 30 fewer victims; a decrease of 4.6 per cent from 656 to 626.
Sexual offences saw an increase of 261 crimes – or 17.7 per cent – up from 1,477 to 1,738.
As for detection rates, Lancashire was ranked second in the north west and ninth highest in England and Wales at 36 per cent, meaning there is a good chance that people committing crime will be caught.
Satisfaction levels in Lancashire are at 86.8 per cent, which would rank very strongly with anyone in the private sector.
Confidence, which is only measured locally by the Constabulary is at 88.6%.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Bates said: “It is reassuring that, once again, there are fewer people becoming victims of crime in the county and our officers and staff are determined to see this trend continue.
“There is no doubt that the nature of policing demand is changing with an even greater emphasis needed on supporting vulnerable people within our community. Just as our communities increasingly feel challenged, this presents new challenges within the Constabulary as some crimes do show signs of increases during this financial year”.
“We are putting the increase in sexual offences down to the public feeling more confident about reporting these types of incidents to us, especially given the publicity in the media around high profile sexual offence cases.
“Despite a reduction in crime overall, our aim now is to try to sustain our focus on supporting the vulnerable in partnership in our communities, despite the financial challenges we are facing as a force.
“We are not complacent and we remain dedicated to keeping Lancashire’s communities safe, keeping levels of crime low and to delivering a high quality of service to victims of crime.
“We also recognise that communities themselves and partners play a significant role in crime reduction and prevention so we are grateful for their continued support too.”
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: "Lancashire is a safe place to live, work and visit – and the continuing reduction in the number of crimes committed in the county emphasises that.
"Overall crime in the county has fallen yet again, and credit must be given to Lancashire's officers and staff for the hard work they have put in to achieving that. It is a positive picture and I am committed, alongside the Chief Constable, to ensuring the county remains safe and criminals know if they commit crime in Lancashire they will be caught and brought to justice.
"However, the challenging financial situation being faced by Lancashire Constabulary is no secret, and I remain cautious about how long crime levels can continue to reduce for, given the scale of the cuts. As Commissioner, my job is to work with the Chief Constable to ensure issues are addressed and ensure residents and their communities are protected through these difficult times."