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Crime falls in first half of 2007


EMBARG"D UNTIL 00.01 AM ON WEDNESDAY 25 JULY

CRIME in Jersey fell in the first half of 2007 and prolific offenders responsible for crimes are being caught. Those are the main findings of the second quarter performance report from States of Jersey Police.

This year's figures show a five per cent drop in overall recorded crime compared to the same time last year.

Between January and June this year, States of Jersey Police have successfully targeted prolific offenders who are responsible for ˜spates' of crimes such as burglaries and car thefts.

This year, 26 people defined as ˜prolific offenders' by States of Jersey Police have been arrested 45 times between them for vehicle crime offences and burglaries which happened between January and June. This in turn can have a ˜knock on' effect to other offences those offenders may be responsible for.

˜One of our key aims this year was and continues to be targeting prolific offenders and bringing them to justice,' said Chief Officer Graham Power. ˜Our aim is to keep Jersey's prolific offenders on the back foot. Overall, acquisitive crime fell by 11.5 per cent compared to the three year average for this period. General theft and bicycle theft both fell by about 14 per cent compared with the first six months of 2006.'

The Force also continues to tackle large drugs cartels as one of their operational priorities. So far this year, the work of the Drugs Squad means that 21 people have been charged with drugs offences and nearly £500,000 worth of drugs have been kept away from the Island's streets. The drugs haul this year includes two seizures of heroin worth over £200,000 each. Ten of the people arrested and charged are allegedly involved in the supply and distribution of commercial quantities of drugs in Jersey.

Street violence and disorder remains a priority for the Force. The number of arrests for street violence and disorder is down by five per cent compared to the same time period of 2006, and the number of calls to the Police from members of the public reporting violence and disorder between 8 pm and 4 am in St Helier is down compared to last year. The number of people attending the accident and emergency department at the Hospital with assault injuries in the first six months of 2007 compared to 2006 is down seven percent on last year and is the lowest level in the January to June period in the last five years.

However, more street assaults “ 185 - were recorded as taking place on the streets of St Helier, and in pubs and clubs between 8 pm and 4 am in the first half of the year. This shows a 20 per cent rise compared to the same time last year. The rise in assaults

being recorded could be due to Police officers being able to attend such incidents more quickly, as more are now on the beat during peak times. ˜Having more officers on duty can mean that we are more likely to be able to locate the victim of any assault,' said Mr Power. ˜Many of the victims officers come across only report an assault because an officer has spoken to them, and not all victims want to make a complaint,' he said.

˜We are having success getting victims to come forward to make formal complaints about ˜stranger' assaults. A formal study earlier this year showed that more than 70 per cent of the victims of ˜stranger' assaults were making a formal complaint and so more assaults are being recorded. If assaults are counter-claimed by another person involved, this also heightens our figures, as it is recorded as another assault.'

Jersey's so called ˜binge drinking' culture continues to be of concern to States of Jersey Police. ˜There is a limit to what the Police, working on their own can achieve, and for that reason, we feel there is a real need for a co-ordinated government approach towards the late night economy in St Helier,' said Mr Power. ˜We have invited politicians to see how we police St Helier at night, and the problems we face caused by inadequate licensing and public order legislation.'

Serious sexual offences are at a relatively low level in the Island. However, the Force's public protection unit continue to work hard with other agencies to tackle domestic abuse and child abuse in Jersey.

During the first six months of 2007, the child protection unit have carried out 54 joint investigations with the Children's Service and have investigated another eight cases where adults have come forward to report historic sexual abuse during their childhood. So far this year, this has resulted in six prosecutions for alleged rape and indecent assault against children. There has also been one prosecution for indecent assaults on children, and three for physical abuse of children so far in 2007.

Domestic abuse continues to be of concern. Around a quarter of recorded assaults in Jersey are domestic abuse related, and the figure may be higher as some domestic assaults are not reported. Between January and June this year, States of Jersey Police attended 363 domestic incidents. As a result of this, 115 domestic abuse assaults were recorded.

Other facts and figures:

 17 people were charged in the first half of 2007 with possessing an offensive weapon such as a knife, hammer or baseball bat. This compares to four prosecutions for the same time span in 2006.

 A total of 935 road traffic collisions were reported to the States of Jersey Police in the first half of 2007.

 139 road traffic collisions resulted in injury, and 13 involved serious or fatal injury.

 Speeding continues to be endemic in the Island. So far this year, 1,204 motorists have been prosecuted for speeding.

 The number of drink driving offences fell by 22 per cent over this period compared to the three year average for January to June.

 The use of LASTEC speed detection equipment means that States of Jersey Police are able to detect large volumes of speeding drivers in very short spaces of time. So far LASTEC has been used about 20 times in 2007, and the result is over 450 drivers being reported for speeding.

 The Force continues to focus on preserving Jersey's reputation as a reputable offshore finance centre. The work of the joint financial crime unit (JFCU) yields considerable income for the States of Jersey.

 So far this year, the JFCU has had an increase in the number of suspicious activity reports submitted of 32 per cent. In the first six months of 2007, over £2.5 million has been held locally pending Police investigation of suspicious activity.

 Security at the Island's busy ports remains a priority. Using Police resources, 1,883 checks were made on passengers passing through the ports, and 25 arrests were made.

 93 per cent of emergency calls were attended within target response times.

 99 per cent of victims the Police had contact with were satisfied with the service received. 77 per cent were very or totally satisfied with the service received.

 The report contains a "Voice of the People section in which we publish extracts from some of the many messages of thanks and support received from members of the public so far this year.

Mr Power commented: ˜The hard work of the men and women of States of Jersey Police means that we continue to deal with a wide range of incidents day after day in a professional manner. We are confident that we are working hard to keep Islanders safe and will continue to build on this good work. It is particularly pleasing to note that our ˜customers', often the victims of crime, are happy with the service we offer. We also receive contact from Islanders on a day to day basis to say they are happy with the service they have received, or the help they have been given from a particular officer. This backs up our public studies and is very encouraging.'

 Home Affairs Minister Wendy Kinnard added: ˜It is encouraging to see promising trends such as a fall in crime and a commitment to detecting and solving crimes both large and small.  The Force is compact, but has to meet ever policing need. It's officers work in some very challenging and diverse areas, from high profile, visible policing on the streets, which is what the public tell us they want, to more ˜unseen' tasks such as contacting and reassuring the victims of serious crime. The range of tasks carried out by States of Jersey Police every day is probably not ever seen, but the result of the hard work which g"s on is evident in reports such as this.'

 

 

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