Crime figures fall in St Albans district

CRIME has fallen by more in St Albans in the past year than anywhere else in Herts.

Between April 2010 and 2011, it has dropped by 10.7 per cent, the largest reduction in the county as a whole.

862 fewer crimes were reported during the 12-month period, falling from 8,055 to 7,193 while there were also significant drops in burglaries, thefts from vehicles and serious violent crime.

The only area which bucks the trend is robbery where nine more crimes were reported during the period, increasing the number of incidents from 54 to 63.

The figures have been released by the St Albans Community Safety Partnership which works to reduce crime, anti-social behaviour and substance misuse in the district. It comprises representatives of the district council, police, fire and the probation service.

The latest statistics are based on crime figures released by Herts Police and data on fires produced by the Herts Fire and Rescue Service with the overall drop in crime including some deliberate fires.

Overall there has been a 27 per cent reduction in the number of deliberate fires, such as arson, in the past year, significantly greater than the three per cent drop in Hertfordshire as a whole. For the year ending March 2011, there were 137 deliberate fires in the district, compared to 181 for the same period in the previous year.

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Fires in residential properties and businesses have also fallen by three per cent and fire injuries by 20 per cent for the same period.

St Albans Chief Inspector Richard Hann said that there had been a 19.6 per cent decrease over the past two years and went on: “It is only by working together as a partnership that we have been able to make such significant reductions in crime across the St Albans city and district year on year.”

St Albans council chief executive, Daniel Goodwin, chair of the St Albans City and District Community Safety Partnership, added: “The reduction in crime is very good news and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to achieving this success. St Albans is a safe place and these latest figures are encouraging for local residents.

“The Community Safety Partnership will continue to work hard to prevent and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour across the district. As part of that, we are undertaking work in local schools and colleges to raise awareness of substance misuse and community safety issues.”