Crime rises as police cut in Ottery

Crime rates rose by 30 per cent in Ottery this year and detection rates are down as police in East Devon face massive budget cuts.

The number of recorded crimes rose to 234 in 2010/11 from 168 the previous year. Of those crimes, only 48 have been detected, well below the 30 per cent detection rate the police force in Ottery usually achieves.

And these figures are set against a backdrop of significant budget cuts to Devon and Cornwall Police, which has seen the number of staff operating out of Ottery police station cut by more than half.

On May 20 when the changes come into force there will only be six members of staff stationed at the Old Convent, compared with the 14 when at full-strength, including the loss of Pc Tyrrell to Sidmouth.

The information was relayed to Town Councillors and residents of Ottery St Mary by Pc Phil Thomas, who was delivering his annual report to the Annual Parish Meeting last week.

He said a breakdown of the crime figures did not highlight any significant trend, merely there were more of each type of crime. The figures had been dropping since this year’s increase, but still stand lower than the figure for 2008.

He added that many of the crimes committed since January are still being processed and hopes the detection rate will rise, and was pleased Pixie Day, Tar Barrels and New Year’s celebrations all passed off virtually without incident.