Sidmouth sergeant reveals annual figures along with plans to leave force

Sidmouth's annual crime figures come to Exmouth's for 2018/19. Picture: Beth Sharp

Sidmouth's annual crime figures come to Exmouth's for 2018/19. Picture: Beth Sharp - Credit: Archant

Police were kept busy this year - handling everything from thefts to an incident where youths chucked a bench off a cliff.

Sidmouth's annual crime figures for 2018/19. Picture: Beth Sharp

Sidmouth's annual crime figures for 2018/19. Picture: Beth Sharp - Credit: Archant

Sergeant Andy Squires gave his annual report to Sidmouth Town Council on Monday, April 15.

Police recorded 595 incidents last year. This included 178 violent crimes, 23 dwelling burglaries, 31 non-dwelling burglaries, 45 vehicle offences and 94 criminal damage offences.

A total 1,745 incidents were recorded last year compared to 4,611 incidents in sister town Exmouth. Not all incidents become crimes.

In 2018/19, 595 crimes were recorded compared to 2,085 in Exmouth. The average monthly detection rate in Sidmouth was around 24 to 25 per cent, which is in line with the force’s aims - to achieve one in four.

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Sgt Squires said: “One of our major problems here in Sidmouth is thefts from vehicles in beauty spot car parks.”

The police have recently obtained 25 vandal and weather-proof, stainless steal sign frames to display posters warning users to not leave valuables in their cars.

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Sgt Squires said: “Unfortunately one of them lasted precisely seven days before somebody broke it open and took the sign out. Generally that has happened quite a lot over the years and it is the offenders that take the signs away so people don’t get the warnings they deserve.”

He added they had done quite a lot of work with young people in the area over the past 12 months too.

He said: “There seems to be a small minority that seem hell bent on causing damage but the vast majority are very pleasant, amenable and respectable youths that come up and chat to us and are just sitting listening to music and having a drink.

“But there are a couple that find it appropriate to drive motorbikes through flower beds and throw benches of cliffs in Connaught Gardens. But, stand by, because we are coming after you. It will not tolerated. I’m not in the mind to criminalise them but there are a few that need steering.”

Police have also been given drug awareness lessons in schools, conducting road safety shows and taking part in road operations and stop checks.

Sgt Squires also revealed that he would be leaving the police in 11-and-a-half months time, after seven years as sergeant.

Read next week’s Herald for more.

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