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Baggott upbeat as public confidence in PSNI rises

The PSNI Chief Constable, Matt Baggot has said the latest quarterly update on perceptions of policing, justice and anti social behaviour and the ‘good work’ ongoing in communities is ‘heartening’.

His statement comes after the Department of Justice update revealed that peoples’ confidence in policing had increased slightly — to 79.5 % compared to 78.5 % in the previous year.

The proportion of people who believe police ‘do a good job’ in Northern Ireland has increased on last year too — from 66.8% to 70.4%.

Chief Constable, Matt Baggot said:”I am heartened by this figure as I go to the Northern Ireland Policing Board monthly meeting.

“I am immensely proud of the service delivered by my colleagues at the heart of local communities as they work to keep people safe from serious harm and help to address the local concerns that can touch every one of us.

“This figure reflects the impact we are making in those communities.”

The update shows crime is down by 5.2 % this financial year.

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The Chief Constable said: “ We are not complacent. While the number of burglaries has fallen across Northern Ireland (by 13.5%), the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads has reduced by 42 and the number of armed robberies of business properties has reduced by over 50%, we are still facing a series of challenges — a severe terrorist threat, financial pressure on our resourcing, working to increase our detection rates for domestic violence, sectarian crime and violent crime while continuing to strive to keep people safe through delivering personal, professional, protective policing.”

In south Belfast the statistics show between April and August 2011 there were three bombing incidents compared to five across the 2010/11 financial year.

There was one paramilitary style assault in the three month period compared to two in 2010/11.

The statistics show two firearms were found by police across April to August 2011, compared to seven in 2010/11.

Crime levels across Northern Ireland over the latest 12 months are lower than those for the previous 12 months, the trend since December 2010 has been a general upward one.

Crime increased between December 2010 (when 7,354 offences were recorded) and April 2011 (9,073 offences recorded).

While crime fell between April 2011 and June 2011 there was an increase in July 2011 to reach the highest monthly figure recorded in the last eleven months.

Crime fell again in August 2011 to a level of 8,687 — a fall of 614 or 6.6% on July 2011.

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