Norfolk has seen a dramatic fall in anti-social behaviour, according to new figures released today.

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The quarterly report from the Home Office shows a 30pc reduction in anti-social behaviour and a 2pc drop in crime overall in the 12-month period between April 2011 and 2012.

With a crime rate of 49 in 1000 of the population against a national average of 72/1000, Norfolk remains one of the safest places to live in the country.

Norfolk Constabulary’s focus on those crimes which cause most harm to the community is reflected in reductions in burglary (14pc) and vehicle crime (13pc).

The figures reflect increases in violent crime and serious sexual offences, both of which remain priority crime categories in the county. In both instances, recorded offences have seen significant reductions since April.

Deputy Chief Constable Simon Bailey said: “These figures provide a helpful benchmark and people living and visiting the county should be reassured that it remains a very safe place and crime continues on a downwards trend despite a backdrop of police budget and resource cuts.

“It is particularly pleasing to see the reduction of 30pc in anti-social behaviour (ASB), against a national average of 16pc. This is testament to the hard work and innovation shown by police, partners and our local communities working together.

He continued: “We recognise there is more work to be done and will continue to focus our efforts on those offences that cause most harm or are agreed policing priorities, with the aim of protecting people from becoming victims or being affected by crime.”

The figures, compiled by the Office of National Statistics, show a reduction in all crime categories in Norfolk with the exception of violence against the person, serious sexual offences, theft other and drugs offences.

In Norfolk, drugs offences are treated as a preventative crime and police officers are encouraged to take proactive measures to combat drug crime and identify offenders.

Violence against the person comprises a spectrum of offences from very low level assaults to the most serious. Serious violent crime is subject to a pro-active and wide-ranging crime prevention strategy with a focus on reducing alcohol-fuelled violent crime in Norfolk’s night-time economy.

In June, Norfolk and Suffolk police launched a joint public awareness campaign, Time to Stop, to prevent rape and violent crime across the counties and sign-post victims to local support and services.

Stephen Bett, Chairman of Norfolk Police Authority, said “These figures relate to performance up to the 31st March 2012 and are good.

“However, we have moved on, and I am pleased to say that the figures for the first three months of this new year, show a continuous improvement in most areas of priority crime particularly in the categories of burglary and violence.

“The significant improvement in antisocial behaviour (ASB) figures are especially to be welcomed. This achievement is highly creditable when set against reducing budgets and reflects a very positive approach by the Constabulary’s personnel at all levels and I thank them for this.”

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