Police say we live in the UK’s safest region

North Yorkshire Police say it's the safest region in the country - although Scarborough can lay a claim to being the county crime capital

North Yorkshire Police say it's the safest region in the country - although Scarborough can lay a claim to being the county crime capital

Pointing to new figures for the year, North Yorkshire Police claim the region has the lowest crime rate in the entire country.

The force claim the region is the “safest place to live” in the country, after statistics revealed crime had fallen in several key categories.

But in North Yorkshire, Scarborough can lay a genuine claim to the unwanted title of the region’s crime capital.

Public figures on the police.uk website show that people here are more likely to involved in crime than in any other major town or city in the region, including York, Thirsk and Harrogate.

Scarborough leads the way in North Yorkshire for drug offences, as well as violent and sexual crimes.

And people are twice as likely to either commit or be a victim of criminal activity in Scarborough than in Pickering, which is the safest major town or city in the county.

But police say that throughout the region, they are winning the war on crime.

Top brass from the force point to figures which show that in the past year, crime has continued to fall across the region in several categories.

On the whole, crime fell by 2.2 per cent with significant reductions in cases of theft, burglary and criminal damage.

However, Chief Constable Dave Jones has warned of challenging times ahead for the force as it aims to retain North Yorkshire’s title as the safest region in Britain.

“I am satisfied with the latest crime figures which demonstrate that the plans we have in place are working effectively, building on the success of recent years,” said Chief Constable Jones.

“They reflect the hard work, dedication and commitment which our officers, staff and community partners display on a daily basis.”

He has vowed to not let complacency trickle into the force’s ranks, adding: “North Yorkshire Police will continue to make sure that our communities remain the safest places to live and work in the country.

“As we have already achieved a significant reduction in crime in recent years, reducing it further poses a constant challenge. However, this is something which we have prepared for and have put plans in place to continue to suppress the impact of and maintain the fight against crime.”

The Government figures come a week after The Scarborough News highlighted data which painted a picture of crime in the town.

Data on the police website shows that roughly one in every 17 residents were involved in a crime last year.

And they also showed that an offence in Scarborough’s town centre is reported to police every 225 minutes - leaving Scarborough on the cusp of being one of the worst towns of its kind for crime.

However, those figures do show that like North Yorkshire, crime on the whole is down, with fewer offences since the start of 2014 compared to the same period last year.

And the town’s top cop said his force is doing all it can to make sure offending continues to fall.

“Crime is down in Scarborough since 2010/11 and we are working hard to continue cutting the number of offences in the area,” said Superintendent Glyn Payne.

“Our officers will continue to work hard to cut crime and anti-social behaviour and there will be a relentless pursuit of those who cause harm in our communities.”

And addressing the issue of drugs in the town, which has the highest rate of drug offences in the region, he added “targeted operations” against breaking up the supply and distribution of illegal substances had inflated the offending figures.

“Significant resources have been utilised to target the supply of drugs in Scarborough and a number of arrests have been made, and indeed convictions secured, against criminals responsible for those offences.

“Inevitably the results of such targeted policing pushes crime figures up slightly but I am sure the people of Scarborough will understand that such proactive policing is vital to protecting our communities from these individuals.”

The claim that North Yorkshire is the safest region is based on figures from Westminster that incorporate the whole of 2013.

And the region’s inaugural police and crime commissioner said they will be “welcome news” for residents.

Crime tsar Julia Mulligan, who spoke to concerned residents in Scarborough last week, added: “I will continue to work with the Chief Constable to ensure we have robust plans in place to continue to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in our county. This will go hand in hand with a greater focus on the needs of victims.

“Maintaining North Yorkshire’s status as the safest county in England will be tough, especially being surrounded by seven counties with higher crime rates than ours.

“I’m confident that the Chief Constable has put solid plans in place to fight crime and anti-social behaviour, and we will continue to work together with our partners to prioritise the most vulnerable in our society.”


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