NEW figures have revealed that major crime drops in Burton and South Derbyshire have helped towards a record national fall of 14 per cent in the past 12 months.
The Office for National Statistics revealed crime levels were at their lowest for 33 years – helped, in particular, by 11 straight years of crime reduction in South Derbyshire.
However, the police figures included a seven per cent rise in shoplifting offences nationally – one indicator of a growing austerity gap – with Derbyshire Police reporting a 17 per cent rise in levels during the past year.
This has been a particular issue in South Derbyshire – one that the force now has under control after several operations to clamp down.
Nigel Lidsey, section inspector for the area for Derbyshire Police, said: "We are pleased that our work has seen figures fall quite dramatically.
"However, we will not let our foot off the gas and will continue to push hard to make sure that these figures stay low.
"Criminals need to know what they are doing will not be tolerated.
"Policing now is harder than ever in the wake of budget restrictions, but this does not mean we will shirk the challenge and our performance during the past 11 years is proof of what everyone involved with policing in South Derbyshire has achieved.
"What the results say to me is that the area is a safe place to live and it means that people will feel safer living here.
"This does not mean there is no crime but I think it shows that what we are doing to combat problems is working and working well."
The survey also showed a massive rise in sexual offences recorded by the police.
The increase has been put down to Operation Yewtree and the investigations into Jimmy Savile and other celebrities,
Norman Baker, the crime prevention minister, spoke about the national statistics. He said: "This is further good news for England and Wales. I am very encouraged by the continued significant drop in crime survey figures, a survey regarded as the 'gold standard'."