Town sees drop in crime

CRIME is falling in Sudbury, with more than 100 fewer incidents being reported to police during the course of a year, writes Neil Bracegirdle.

Figures released after a Freedom of Information Request from the Free Press reveal that a total of 1,417 crimes took place in the town last year, compared with 1,578 in 2010 – a drop of more than 10 per cent.

Reports of criminal damage fell from 370 to 340, while there was a drop in domestic burglary from 51 to 34. Robbery also fell by 95 cent from 18 to one.

Inspector Paul Crick, of Sudbury Police, said he was pleased to see a reduction in the number of crimes being committed during a “challenging year” for the force.

“The category of criminal damage is a good measure because it can be indicative of how a community is policed and how much people care about the environment in which they live,” he said. “I am especially pleased to see these crimes falling in number.”

But the news for Sudbury was not all good with a rise in arson attacks from 14 to 26, and public order offences up by more than a third, from 61 to 94. Violent crime remained the same at 13.

The statistics also showed a drop in overall crime in Long Melford, Lavenham and Glemsford.

However, the number of reported incidents in Hadleigh rose from 299 to 356 – a rise of 16 per cent. Violence against a person was up from 47 to 69.

“We have changed the Hadleigh policing model to enable a higher uniform presence and I expect this small rise in crime to reverse,” said Insp Crick, who praised the work of volunteer groups, such as town pastors and Street Watch.

Terry Moore, chairman of Street Watch in Great Cornard, which saw two extra crimes committed during the year, said he felt the 10-member strong group was having a positive impact.

“We have got to know the people and the problem areas and are helping the police do their job in keeping people safe,” he said.

“We hope to build on what we have done and keep up our presence in the village.”