New figures reveal the council wards suffering least crimes

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MID Suffolk has the lowest crime rate of the seven Suffolk districts, according to newly published figures.

Suffolk residents can see how the county’s crime figures are changing in detail. As long as they know their district or borough council ward they can see the number of crimes committed near their homes in the past five years.

The Suffolk Observatory statistics website at www.suffolkobservatory.info has broken down data from the Office of National Statistics to show where and what types of crimes are committed.

In 2010-11 Mid Suffolk recorded 3,376 crimes against 13,391 in Ipswich and 6,486 in St Edmundsbury. The safest council ward is Mid Suffolk’s Fressingfield with only 31 reported crimes, down from a 2008-9 ‘high’ of 48.

The lowest crime rate in West Suffolk is Lavenham with 50 in 2010-11, down from 86 in 2009-10. There were 19 other wards reporting fewer than one crime a week last year.

Overall, the figures show how crime rates are falling but the detailed offences data produces surprises. Forest Heath was the only district to see an increase in arson rising from 35 in 2005-6 to 62 last year, while St Edmundsbury dropped from 115 to 54 in the same period.

But Forest Heath also showed the county’s lowest levels in all categories of anti-social behaviour last year, except begging and vagrancy at eight, while Babergh had six and Mid Suffolk none.

At first sight the figures for serious violent crime have leapt since 2005, but all districts had a jump in 2008-9. Suffolk Police say this was because instead of only recording actual injury cases they began including attacks with intent to cause serious injury. Less violent incidents make no similar leap.

Norfolk’s equivalent website www.norfolkinsight.org.uk breaks figures down even to library catchment areas, but only for the first three months of 2011 and with no historical data. Breckland recorded 10.44 crimes per 1000 residents, which was the fourth highest district of seven, including Norwich with 22.21 crimes per 1,000.