THERE were 30,000 fewer victims of crime in West Yorkshire last year – but more than 900 violent crimes involved a knife.
Figures released by the Home Office yesterday revealed that crime in the county was down by more than 8% compared with the year ending in March 2007.
The figures include results from both the British Crime Survey and crimes recorded by the police for the 12 months up to March 2008.
A 5% reduction in robberies – 159 fewer victims.
Vehicle crime down by more than 14% – 4,965 fewer victims.
Criminal damage down by more than 12% – 7,515 fewer victims.
Overall violent crime down by 9.6% – 4,679 fewer victims.
There was a small increase in the number of house burglaries, but the number of such victims in the county has halved in the last five years.
Deputy Chief Constable David Crompton said: “Overall crime is at a four year low in the county, which is good news, but people’s concerns about crime remain high. Confidence in local policing has risen and our Neighbourhood Policing Teams are beginning to produce results by working with local communities.”
He added: “Violent crime remains a concern and, of the 4,428 ‘serious and violent’ crimes recorded, 915 involved a knife or sharp instrument.
“However, it is encouraging that over the last year we have seen a reduction in the most common but less serious violence such as minor assaults in the street.
“There have also been fewer cases of vandalism, damage and vehicle crime and these tend to be the offences which people notice most in their locality.”
Both overall crime and the risk of victimisation in Yorkshire and the Humber are now at their lowest levels since the first BCS results in 1981.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: “I’m determined to deliver more reductions in all types of crime and particularly violence involving knives and guns.”
Some projects in Kirklees have helped the crime fall.
The Pinch Point Campaign tackled a big increase in criminal damage and calls to the emergency services from October 20 until early November in the lead-up to last Bonfire Night.
The Sanctuary scheme was set up after it emerged that 20% of people classed as homeless in Kirklees were fleeing domestic violence and seeking temporary or emergency accommodation.