Crime in Sidmouth up 9.5% in 2016/17

Sergeant Andy Squires is now splitting his time between Sidmouth and Seaton. Picture by Alex Walton.

Sergeant Andy Squires is now splitting his time between Sidmouth and Seaton. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6983-28-13AW - Credit: Archant

Reported crime in Sidmouth was up 9.5 per cent in 2016/17, but that is ‘pretty much the same’ in police terms, according to the town’s sergeant.

Addressing the annual assembly in Sidbury Village Hall on Monday, Sergeant Andy Squires said the total was 451, up from 412 in the previous year.

He also revealed that at no point in the last 12 months did he have a full team – it was always at least one member short, for one reason or another.

But despite a force-wide shake-up, when one of the officers retires later this year, he is set to be replaced.

Sgt Squires said the senior police team and Alison Hernandez, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, are committed to communication with the public and are supportive of the regular ‘have your say’ surgeries in Sidmouth Library.

The reported crimes in Sidmouth included:

• 61 cases of violence with injury;

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• 82 cases of violence without injury – a category that includes harassment and online abuse;

• One robbery;

• 27 dwelling burglaries;

• 21 non-dwelling burglaries;

• 33 vehicle offences;

• 31 instances of shoplifting and 48 other thefts;

• 93 criminal damage;

• 19 public order offences;

• Four other offences.

Regarding four cases of possession of a weapon, two trafficking of drugs and nine of possession of drugs, Sgt Squires said this shows police are acting effectively and catching those responsible.

There were 1,591 incidents that did not become crimes between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017, comparable to the 1,555 over the previous year.

He compared the rates to Ilfracombe, a similar seaside town to Sidmouth, which saw 581 crimes recorded.

In contrast, Exeter had 9,266 crimes and 24,700 incidents.

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