Published 23 January 2020

Matthew Scott has welcomed new data showing crime is down by 3.1% in Kent.

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics today showed Kent to be one of only four force areas across England and Wales to record a decrease in overall recorded crime.

Specifically, Kent Police recorded 6,160 fewer crimes in the period from October 2018 to September 2019, compared with the previous 12 months.

Mr Scott, Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: ‘Kent Police has been independently rated as outstanding for the way it records crime, meaning our data is more reliable than most.

‘Burglary is down in Kent, criminal damage is down in Kent, and violence with injury is down in Kent. The drive to recruit additional police officers through increases in council tax is having a positive impact. I hope to see this trend continue.

‘Some other crime types like stalking, drugs offences, and possessions of weapons continue to show year-on-year increases. This is evidence of additional support being provided to more vulnerable victims, and of Kent Police’s proactive efforts targeting gangs and violent offenders.’

Nationally, the Crime Survey for England and Wales shows crime has remained broadly stable in recent years. However Mr Scott, who serves as the lead for forces’ performance on the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), was keen to stress that crime statistics remain an imperfect and incomplete measure of success.

He added: ‘Crime data does not reflect the huge amount of work our police forces do where no crime has taken place - searching for missing people; attending serious collisions on our roads; prevention work in our schools; and dealing with people in mental health crisis, for example.

‘Overall demand on our police officers and staff continues to grow and that is why ongoing investment is so important. The Home Office is funding a further 147 Kent Police officers in 2020/21 and, following yesterday’s funding settlement, I am currently looking at the force’s budgetary needs before I present my precept proposal to the Police and Crime Panel on February 6.’