CRIME in South Yorkshire is at its lowest level for more than 20 years, according to new figures.
Recorded crime statistics released by South Yorkshire Police last week shows overall crime is at its lowest since 1989.
The figures compare the number of crimes reported between Janaury and December 2011 with the previous 12-month period.
They show a reduction in total crime of 1,734 offences across the county, down 2 per cent on the previous year.
Violent crime, vehicle crime and fraud offences show significant reductions but the force has seen increases in burglaries, thefts and drug offences.
Temporary assistant chief constable Bob Sanderson, told the Times: “The force has repeatedly said for the last few years that maintaining our good performance will be a challenge as we look to maximise resources within a reducing budget.
“We’re still managing to reduce overall crime but the latest results show some individual crime increases, partly driven by the economy.
For example, metal crimes and shoplifting offences have contributed significantly to rises in theft and burglary.
“These crimes are force priorities with operational activities taking place and proactive crime prevention messages issued regularly on twitter and Facebook.
“Crime statistics are a useful performance indicator but we know what’s most important – the people who live and work in South Yorkshire
“We’re committed to organising our officers and staff in the most efficient way to deliver the best possible service.”
Total violent crime has reduced by 12 per cent, vehicle crime is down by 11 per cent and fraud cases recorded a ten per cent drop.
House burglaries increased marginally by 60 crimes.
Theft and handling stolen goods offences were up by 10 per cent, and drug offences increased by four per cent. The number of firearms offences and knife crimes also show significant reductions. Firearms offences (excluding air weapons) are down 49% by 86 to 88 crimes.