RECORDED CRIME INCREASES BUT SCILLY IS STILL SAFE
Recorded crime increased on the Isles of Scilly over the past year by 84%, according to statistics released last week by Devon & Cornwall Police. However, the figures have been described as not exceptional by the local police.
The total number of recorded crimes increased from 69 to 127, surpassing the record level of 2007 when 117 crimes were recorded.
Sgt Colin Taylor said, “We are not experiencing exceptional levels of crime and disorder for Scilly. I believe what we are witnessing is the crime that is reported being correctly recorded, in addition to people having increased confidence in us to report crime in the first place."
Sgt Taylor’s view echoes last year’s Crime Survey for England and Wales, which acknowledged some increases in crime nationally reflected changes in recording practices rather than an actual rise in the number of offences, along with a greater willingness of victims to come forward to report certain types of offences.
While the overall numbers of recorded crimes are low, there was a marked increase in the number of vehicle offences, up from five to 31, and also thefts, which almost doubled, up from 17 to 33.
In May last year there were five reports of theft in a 24-hour period, which Sgt Taylor described at the time as ‘highly unusual’.
He added, “Contrary to popular propaganda or misbelief we are busy. We may not rush around with lights flashing but our workloads are plentiful and we work outside our allotted hours to manage it.”
The National Police Records (Recordable Offences) Regulations 2000 sets out that convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings are regarded as recordable offences if the offence could be punishable with imprisonment.
Taking a pedal cycle without consent, for example, is a recordable offence, whereas driving without insurance is not. Furthermore, many reported crimes can be allocated a crime number when first reported but later found out not to have been criminal offences.