CRIME continues to tumble in West Yorkshire with more than 9,000 fewer victims over the last year.

Recorded crime in the county is down by 3.6% in 2006-7 when compared with the previous year.

Violent crime is down by 11.5% – 5,621 fewer offences – and criminal damage is reduced by 2.6% – 1,553 fewer offences.

Drug offences are down by 5%, with vehicle thefts down by 9.4%.

West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison said: “We are delighted that the force is currently outperforming the national crime trend with a drop of nearly 4% in recorded crime last year.

“Our early indications are that we have started this year well and that crime is continuing its downward trend across the county.

“I often ask myself why, when crime rates are tumbling, people don’t necessarily feel safe.

“The latest statistics support the view that the issue which concerns people most at the moment is alcohol and drug related anti-social behaviour.

“We are committed to developing our Neighbourhood Policing Teams who work on a daily basis in local communities to respond to and deal with these problems.

“We are determined to make continuous improvements to improve people’s satisfaction in our service and their confidence in local policing.”

Chairman of West Yorkshire Police Authority Clr Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “We recognise that people sometimes feel they are at a greater risk of crime than is in fact the case.

“Our website,, gives everyone the opportunity to see for themselves what the true crime picture is in their local area.

“The continuing fall in recorded crime is extremely good news and, combined with the record numbers of uniformed officers, police and PCSOs, on our streets should help to reassure people that the policing of West Yorkshire is continually improving.”

A round-the-clock telephone service manned by specialist drugs advisors has been praised by Government officials.

The service provides urgent advice, information and support and gives substance misusers and their families a vital lifeline to encourage them to seek help and treatment.

Clr Khizar Iqbal, chairman of Kirklees Safer Communities Partnership, said: “Our priority is to reduce drugs-related crime, get more people into treatment and support families and communities affected by drugs misuse.

“This hotline provides the first contact many of these people may have with services and enables them to be signposted on to the right support quickly.”

Run by Lifeline Kirklees and funded by Kirklees Drug Interventions Programme, both based in Dewsbury and Huddersfield, the hotline was launched two-years-ago.

It reflects the government’s strategy to prevent and reduce drug use, especially among the under 25s, to increase access to treatment, tackle supply and cut drug-related crime.

Tony Cooke, senior commissioning and partnership manager for Kirklees Drug Action Team, said: “It is important that drug users and their families and communities have someone to talk to – and beyond the nine to five.

“That is why we fund and support this vital service in Kirklees that acts as a first point of entry into the range of services available to help people address their drug problem.”