Crime low in Wiltshire – but figures reveal massive rise in shoplifting

THE Wiltshire Police area has the lowest crime rate per person in the country, according to new data, but shoplifting has spiked.

Crime figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show a decrease in overall recorded crime across the county.

The falls include in areas identified as priorities by Chief Constable Catherine Roper – burglary, violence and safer public spaces.

However, burglary of non-residential properties, and theft from the person, rose, by 2% and 9% respectively.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales, released on April 25, showed total recorded crime was 4% down for the year ending December 2023 compared to the same period the previous year.

It represented 55.8 crimes per 1,000 people (excluding fraud) – the lowest rate of all forces in England and Wales.

Drops in other crimes, according to the statistics, included: Robbery -16%, Residential Burglary -15%, Sexual Offences -4%, Stalking -5%, Drug Offences -10%, Public Order -12% and Violence with Injury -15%.

Shoplifting, highlighted as a major growing crime problem across the country, rose by 35%.

Chief Constable Roper said: “These statistics reflect the hard work and renewed focus of Wiltshire Police as part of our collective effort to transform the organisation to best serve our communities.

“Since becoming Chief Constable of Wiltshire, I have been very clear in challenging the force to embrace a programme of change and new organisational priorities to bring about lasting and meaningful improvements.

“I cautiously welcome this latest set of statistics that appear to reflect some of the significant gains in key areas, with improved outcomes for victims and an overall reduction in crime.

“As an organisation we are still on that improvement journey, and I am determined to build upon this strong foundation to ensure we are ‘Keeping Wiltshire Safe’.”

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