Southwold crime falls by 17pc

RECORDED crime in Southwold fell by 17pc last year, town councillors were told this week.

Last year there were 118 crimes in the town, compared to 139 in 2010 – meaning the 12-month total was lower than the number of incidents reported in Lowestoft over the course of an average week.

The incidents in Southwold included one in June in which a stolen car was deliberately driven into the harbour, leading to one joyrider being convicted and the other cautioned; in August, in a case that remains unsolved, a young woman was indecently assaulted in High Street; and in October, items worth �4,500 were stolen from sailing dinghies at the harbour.

During the Christmas lights switch-on event, there was one arrest for drink driving, a bicycle was damaged by the Swan Hotel, two youths from Bungay got into a fight and a woman assaulted another woman.

In a case previously reported by The Journal, local man Gary McGee, 22, was sentenced to a community order for breaking into the town's St Edmunds Church, damaging an historic window and stealing cash.

The crime figures for 2011 were released by PC Christopher Sadler at a meeting of Southwold Town Council on Tuesday night. He told councillors it was 'great' the town had seen crime levels fall since 2010 and said there would also be a third community support officer based in the town over the next few weeks.

More than 5pc of crimes involved the theft of bicycles, he said, and just under 10pc were shoplifting offences.

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PC Sadler also reported on crime figures for Reydon where there were 59 incidents reported last year, compared to 70 in 2010. However, he admitted that speeding by motorists who passed through Reydon's 30mph zones at more than 50mph remained a problem.

In one case, PC Sadler said he stopped a motorist, who has a house in Southwold, after clocking the vehicle travelling at 69mph in the 30mph zone.

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