New figures show that Norfolk is the joint safest county in England, with crime falling year on year by 8pc.

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A report from the Home Office for the year ending September 2012, shows there were 3,455 fewer crimes than the year before.

Norfolk’s rate of 46 crimes per 1,000 population is well below the English national average of 68 crimes per 1,000, and the East of England average of 56.

Suffolk had a crime rate of 59 crimes per 1,000 population and Cambridgeshire had a rate of 63.

Both Suffolk and Cambridgeshire showed year-on-year falls of 6pc, compared to a drop of 7pc across the country.

Norfolk’s Deputy Chief Constable Simon Bailey said: “The constabulary can rightly feel very proud of these results; a lot of hard work has taken place to ensure the constabulary continues to perform exceptionally well. The county remains a very safe place to live and with our partner agencies, we will continue to deliver a high quality service.”

Figures for Norfolk show that burglary was reduced by 19pc, compared to an 8pc national reduction. Burglary from a dwelling was down by 22pc across the county and there was a drop of 16pc for burglary other than a dwelling.

Norfolk has the joint lowest rate of burglaries in England with only four offences per 1,000 population.

Criminal damage reduced by 19pc to 7,617 offences, compared to a national reduction of 13pc, while robbery reduced by 19pc to 189 offences. Vehicle crime has reduced by 17pc to 2,766 offences compared to a national average of 8pc.

The only Home Office categories that did not see reductions in the number of offences compared to the previous year were violence against the person, drug offences and fraud.

Violence against the person increased by 3pc, a rise of 277 offences, while drug offences increased by 9pc, a rise of 191 offences.

Norfolk police and crime commissioner Stephen Bett said: “Whilst the figures are somewhat historic, I am pleased to yet again welcome a positive performance by Norfolk Constabulary.

“I congratulate the chief constable and all police personnel on their contribution to making Norfolk a safe county. The challenge for me, is funding them to sufficient a level to maintain that.”

Meanwhile, three Norfolk postcode areas, in Martham, Dereham and Hevingham, are in the top 20 where homeowners are least likely to have claimed on home insurance for burglary.

MoneySupermarket.com analysed 3.49 million applications for home insurance quotes made between December 2011 and the end of November 2012.

They looked at the number of users who said they had made a claim for burglary at their current address in the past two years.

The number of claims made per 1,000 enquiries was then calculated, to allow areas to be compared.

david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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