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Success as region's crime drops 10pc in ten months.

Total crime dropped 10.7 per cent in the West Midlands during the last 10 months compared to the same time in the previous year.

Official figures from West Midlands Police show there have been 207,338 incidents of crime reported so far this financial year, between April 2007 and January 2008.

That compares to 232,165 cases during the same period the previous year.

Despite drops in all but one categories of recorded crime, figures for the period show violent crime remained the most commonly reported offence.

Highlighting the drop Paul Scott-Lee, Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, spoke out against critics who claim the figures fail to take into account unreported crime.

"There is a general misunderstanding as to what the public feel and what the public thinks, but everyone feels able to make a statement saying the public are not recording crime," he said.

"I quite accept there is a proportion of crime that is not and may be never reported to the police services.

"That is a fact. It may include minor assault and some theft issues. But we can say there are certain types of crime where history and all the research tells us the reporting levels are very high.

"Car crime is a good example. Most people have their car insured and, in order to get the money back, they have to report it.

"A similar thing applies to houses. If there is a problem, in order to sort it out through your insurers you have to report it to us."

Mr Scott-Lee maintained there was an increase in the reporting of disputes relating to neighbours and children.

"The evidence that is available seems to suggest the recording and reporting levels are high," he maintained.

The Chief Constable expressed regret that the force would be "held to account" by a 4.7 per cent rise in domestic burglary when all other areas showed a decline.

The sharpest drop was in robbery which fell by 17.3 per cent during the period from 7,658 reported cases to 6,336.

A similar drop was recorded in criminal damage which fell 16.5 per cent - or 7,663 cases to just under 39,000.

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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 15, 2008
Words:372
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