Sidmouth crime rate drops by 45 per cent


- Credit: Archant

Alleged murder recorded in monthly tally

SIDMOUTH’S crime rate plummeted by 45 per cent last month when compared to the same period last year – but an alleged murder marred the encouraging trend. There were 38 reported offences in September in contrast to 70 in the corresponding timeframe in 2012.

The statistics also show a month-on-month drop of 42 per cent - as 66 incidents were recorded in August.

Sergeant Andy Squires, who took over as leader of the neighbourhood policing team in July, attributed the reduction to the end of the summer season and the weather.

Of the 38 recorded crimes, there were three burglaries – two of which were to dwellings – and 15 thefts. These included items being taken from vehicles, stolen bicycles and shoplifting.

Three public order offences, four assaults, a possession of cannabis, four incidents of criminal damage contributed towards the tally.

Sgt Squires said thefts of valuables from motor vehicles in car parks at remote beauty spots was the subject of a pro-active crackdown by officers.

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The Herald reported last month how patrols were increased in response to a 37 per cent increase in vehicle break-ins over a 28-day period.

Police will now visit the hotspots every shift and an unmarked car will be touring the area to catch perpetrators.

Officers are also working to improve driver awareness on how to stay safe, as well as looking in vehicles and providing advice when valuables are on display.

Sgt Squires added that there had been a ‘spike’ in underage drinking but attributed it to youngsters getting drunk on carnival night.

Police seized a ‘table full’ of alcohol on September 28.

“It’s baffling where it all comes from,” said Sgt Squires. “Hopefully things will return to normal now.”