Safe as houses

An annual report into crime statistics by the Home Office has put Surrey as the safest county in Britain.

The authoritative British Crime Survey for 1st April 2005 to 31st March 2006, reveals that the county has the lowest crime rate in Britain and highest level of public confidence in the Police.

Wiltshire received the silver medal for safety,  while Surrey scooped first place in the ratings.

Sixty per cent of people in Surrey have confidence in the police policing their streets compared to that of the national average of 50 per cent.

Vehicle crime in the county fell by 2.4 per cent from 9,243 offences to 9,022, a rate of 85 offences per 10,000 people. this makes Surrey the 8th safest county for vehicle crime.

However, the picture is not all rosey. Violent crime is up eight per cent, including robbery and vehicle crime up by 17 per cent.

Deputy Chief Constable Brian Moore, said: 'Whilst our crime rates and British Crime Survey results are excellent, I would like to reassure the public that we will not become complacent. In particular we are working hard to improve our detection rate by restructuring our crime management process and increasing our prisoner handling capacity, which is greatly assisted by the re-opening of Woking custody centre, which has been shut due to essential building work.'

Surrey Police Authority Chairman Jim Smith added: 'There are areas that will continue to be targetted as part of policing priorities  set by the authority, but overall we are delighted by the force's recent successes in fighting crime to make Surrey the safest county in England.'