by Gillian McDade
THERE has been a significant fall in crime in the Cookstown area, with a 20 per cent reduction recorded over the past year.
Annual statistics released from the PSNI for the financial year, show that overall crime fell from 1950 incidents in 2011/12 to 1552 in 2012/13; a reduction of 398 (20.4 per cent), the largest drop overall in the province. It compares favourably to the Northern Ireland average of a 2.9 per cent reduction and in the F District as a whole, where crime fell by nine per cent.
Drug offences fell by over 50 per cent from 120 to 55, while burglary dropped from 141 offences in 2011/12 to 81 in 2012/13.
And violence against the person resulting in injury saw a drop from 422 in 2011/12 to 301 in 2012/13. Sexual offences fell from 33 in 2011/12 to 30 in 2012/13, with serious sexual offences falling from 30 to 25. There was a rise however in other sexual offences, from three to five. Shoplifting fell from 97 to 80 incidents and fraud and forgery fell to 47 from 71 offences the previous year.
There were three robberies of business properties in 2011/12 compared to two in 2012/13, and four robberies involving personal property in 2011/12 compared to one in 2012/13.
Eight incidents of drug trafficking were recorded in 2012/13 compared to 23 previously in 2011/12.
Thefts from vehicles also saw a reduction with 30 reported in 2011/12 compared to 24 in 2012/13.
Overall crime in Dungannon and South Tyrone fell by 4.9 per cent, down from 2546 in 2011/12 to 2421 in 2012/13.
On a further positive note, the clearance rate in the district has increased by 2.4 per cent to 32 per cent.
The number of crimes logged in 2012/13 is the lowest level recorded by the PSNI since the new Home Office counting rules were introduced in 1998/99.
Area Commander for Cookstown and Dungannon and South Tyrone, Chief Inspector Jane Humphries expressed her commitment to continuing to work with communities.
“I am delighted with the figures which show that Cookstown and Dungannon and South Tyrone have seen a drop in crime in the last year. We are working with the community and we take our responsibility to them very seriously,” she said.
She also paid tribute to all of the communities who have risen to the challenge of engaging positively with the police.
”Your phone calls and concerns have enabled us to respond to community issues to make your lives better. We should also remember that behind every crime is a victim,” she added.
Overall crime figures in Northern Ireland are at a 15 year low.