Levels of crime are down in the county

Crime in the Alnwick policing sector has fallen by eight per cent over the last 12 months, although shoplifting and drug offences rose slightly.

Inspector Paul Truscott said he was pleased with the overall 2012/13 results for the area, which also includes Amble, Rothbury and Coquetdale.

The encouraging figures build on the 2011/12 findings, where crime fell by 11 per cent.

Offences were down in nearly every category, with reductions in violent crime, criminal damage, burglary and vehicle crime.

There was also a nine per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour, with 137 fewer incidents. Youth anti-social behaviour was down 17 per cent.

However, the number of shoplifting offences increased – seven more than last year.

Insp Truscott said Alnwick town centre was a hotspot for this type of crime because its location is a ‘favourable target of travelling criminals’, and said officers will be working with traders to try to tackle the issue.

There were also seven additional offences of low-level drug activity, which Insp Truscott said was indicative of the police’s ‘pro-active approach’ to tackling this type of crime and acting on intelligence from the public.

He also set out the sector’s aims for 2013/14.

“The priorities for this year will be to further drive down crime and anti-social behaviour and deal positively with all incidents of domestic violence and working with our partners to tackle issues of vulnerability within our communities,” he said.

The drop in crime in the Alnwick sector coincides with an overall reduction of eight per cent throughout Northumberland over the past year.

In the Berwick sector, which includes villages such as Belford, Wooler and Seahouses, crime had been slashed by 22 per cent over the last 12 months.

Anti-social behaviour witnessed a 19 per cent overall reduction.

In the Morpeth sector, which includes the likes of Red Row, Hadston, Longhorsley and Acklington, crime was down 4.5 per cent.

Anti-social behaviour was reduced by 10 per cent.