Latest figures showing total crime on the Island has fallen over the last year have been welcomed by MP Bob Seely.
Figures show that, as of the end of September 2023, a total of 5867 offences were committed on the Island over the past twelve months – a reduction of 2.5 per cent on the previous year.
The biggest reduction has been in robbery offences which has seen a reduction of 43.5 per cent. Violent crime is also down with the more serious violence offences showing a drop of 26.4 per cent. Sexual offences have also seen a 15.1 per cent reduction.
Other areas that have seen a fall in numbers are commercial burglary and anti-social behaviour by 23 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.
There has been a slight rise however in residential burglary with ten more offences committed than the previous year, and a larger rise in reports of shoplifting, reports of which have nearly doubled.
Police are encouraging retailers to report these crimes so that they can crack down on the hardcore thieves at the heart of these offences.
Bob Seely said: “Overall crime is falling. The police are doing a good job and I thank officers for their important role in our society.
“In addition, we have 30 more police officers on the Island and dedicated Roads Policing Officers back. I have told police I want to see more visible policing and more police officers investigating more crimes.
“Police are now encouraging folks in retail to report shoplifting. I am also keen to hear peoples’ experiences. I support a zero-tolerance approach. The additional police officers on the Island mean that we have more police to investigate crime and to arrest criminals.
“Anti-social behaviour offences are also down, although I am aware that some communities are concerned about this, especially in Freshwater, Cowes and Newport. I am supporting the police and other agencies to deal with the problems produced by a small number of offenders.
“I made my opinions very clear to the courts that they need to be supporting the police in cracking down on anti-social behaviour. We should not be tolerant of yobbish or abusive behaviour that leaves people in fear.”
Earlier this year Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, announced that Isle of Wight communities will have named, dedicated police officers and PCSO’s, with the first of these in place by April 2024.
She also revealed her plans to reopen police stations in Cowes and Ryde.
Mr Seely said he was also working to ensure better treatment of victims of sexual assault.
Mr Seely added: “We do not have a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) on the Isle of Wight. That’s not good enough. That means, if you are someone – and it’s almost always a woman – who has been the victim of sexual violence, you have no choice but to travel to the mainland.
“It is not acceptable that victims of crime, who may be in a traumatised state already, currently have no choice but to get on a ferry to go to a sexual assault centre on the mainland. I am working with the Police Commissioner Donna Jones and the Island’s NHS to change this. As soon as I have an update, I will let Islanders know.
“The other really important thing to note is that we will soon have named community officers for every community on the Island. As soon as I have the means to contact them, I will be sharing that with Islanders.
“We’re getting a better deal on policing for the Island. More police officers, crime falling, working towards a SARC, dedicated police officers and more capacity to focus on everyday crimes that people see.”