WILTSHIRE is only one of five counties nationally to see a drop in the number of overall recorded crimes, according to statistics released today.

Between June 2018 and June 2019, Wiltshire Police recorded 43,164 crimes overall – a reduction of 82 recorded crimes compared to the previous 12 months.

Nationally, recorded crime has increased by eight per cent and regionally by two per cent.

Despite the overall drop, recorded drug offences saw an increase of 21 per cent alongside a 28 per cent increase in possession of offensive weapons.

Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: “The increase in drug offences and offensive weapon possession is unsurprising, often these types of offences can be linked to county lines which continues to be a Force priority.

“This increase in the offences recorded is testament the ongoing proactive work to tackle the blight of these gangs who bring drugs into our county and target those most vulnerable.

“In fact just last week I joined officers in Swindon on county line operations that resulted in 62 people being arrested. I will continue to work with the Force to ensure that this momentum is not lost.”

Residential burglaries and vehicle crime each dropped by 27 per cent and 26 per cent respectively, while theft from a person dropped by nearly 16 per cent.

Mr Macpherson added: “In recent years Wiltshire Police has not performed as well as it should have in tackling burglary.

"I am pleased to see that the resources dedicated to tackling it are now seeing the results of their hard work.

"It is heartening to see that burglary and vehicle crime have dropped considerably and this is a result of me challenging the Chief Constable and his team on the improvement on burglary and vehicle crime numbers.

“This type of scrutiny is essential to ensure Wiltshire Police continues to deliver for the communities it serves.”

Superintendent Sarah Robbins, Head of Geographical Crime said: “In 2016 we recognised that as a Force our performance in relation to burglary was not as I or the public would have expected.

"We made changes in our approach with the introduction of the Community Tasking Team which I am pleased is continuing to have a positive impact on burglary.

“Burglary is a horrendous crime which can be emotionally and financially damaging. It is the actions of a small number of individuals, which can have a huge impact on a town or area.

"We have identified the most prolific offenders across Wiltshire and Swindon with many of these now removed from our streets.

“Seeing this reduction in reported burglary is positive news but we cannot be complacent.

"We need to continue to work with local partners and the public to raise awareness of burglary and encourage the public to take action to keep their homes and vehicles safe.”