Isle of Man News - POSTED Wed 28-05-2014

Changes will create 'leaner' police force

by Joanne Clague

Changes will create 'leaner' police force - picture

Recorded crime fell by 4.2 per cent during 2013-14, according to the Manx Constabulary - making the Isle of Man one of the safest places to live in the British Isles.

But burglaries and theft are likely to increase now figures that are already at a 35-year low have 'bottomed out', says Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson.

And he said changes would be announced soon that would make the force 'leaner' and 'more focused'.

Mr Watterson said: 'I would urge members of the public to guard against complacency and play their part in keeping crime low. Most crime in the Island is opportunist in nature, which means it is easily preventable.'

A total of 2,110 crimes were recorded for the 12 months from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014, representing a 17.6 per cent drop against the average for the past three years and a 60 per cent decrease since the turn of the century. The overall detection rate stood at nearly 50 per cent, which remains substantially higher than the figure registered by the 44 police forces in England and Wales (28.9 per cent for 2012-13).

The Chief Constable's annual report will be laid before Tynwald in July. It shows some categories of crime experienced an increase in the number of offences, such as the reporting of domestic violence and sexual abuse. The Chief Constable says this demonstrates a strong degree of trust in the police and a belief among victims that they will be listened to.

The Home Affairs Minister said: 'The effectiveness of the Isle of Man Constabulary in continuing to drive down crime is to be commended. The number of recorded crimes has fallen from more than 6,000 in 1999 to just over 2,000 in 2014, which is a remarkable achievement and reaffirms the widely-held belief that the Isle of Man is one of the safest places to live in the British Isles.'

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