Summary of 2015 Law Enforcement Annual Report
Below is a brief commentary on some aspects of the report.
Reduction in crime reports
Total number of reported crimes fell by 201 (1,728 in 2014 down to 1,527 last year).
Aside from a small increase in 2015, recorded crime rates have significantly reduced in the last five years; however demand has increased in other policing areas, such as cyber-enabled crime and child protection matters.
The recorded crime figures further cement the Bailiwick's position as a safe, low-crime jurisdiction.
The overall detection rate of 50% is pleasing and shows the consistency of the investigatory service we have provided in recent years.
Focus on quality of life crimes
Number of criminal damage reports dropped by 84.
This has been an area of significant focus in recent years, as we firmly believe islanders should not have to tolerate such behaviour. Uniformed Operations and the Neighbourhood Policing Team carried out a variety of specific operational orders in 2015, targeting certain geographical areas and providing increased visibility.
Our detection rate in this area remained consistent at 26% - very high compared to national average of 17% (especially when it is factored in that other forces screen out low level reports of criminal damage).
Law Enforcement had a budget of £18.2m and remained within that budget.
The Guernsey Border Agency collected £37.4m in import and excise duties, which is the second biggest income stream for the States of Guernsey.
Head count across both organisations, and including civilians, increased by two last year. The total (278) is a reduction of 12 compared to 2013, so we remain a disciplined organisation that reviews every job and determines if there is a business case before replacing staff.
The number of police officers has remained fairly static during the last five years, with 153 officers employed in 2011 compared to 147 last year.
Increased use of social media
Our Facebook page now has an audience of some 12,200, with Twitter having 4,200+ followers.
Both saw big increases in audience during the last year (2,000 new 'likes' on Facebook, 1,000 more followers on Twitter).
Both are used to;
- alert islanders in quick-time to incidents or issues that could affect them,
- to issue advice about areas of policing such as scams, road safety or cyber-crime,
- to engage; by answering specific questions posed and encouraging an open dialogue with the community on relevant subject matters
- to put out appeals; for crimes being investigated or missing persons
OTHER STATS OF NOTE
Reduced by half; 52 in 2014 down to 26 last year.
Having your property or home burgled can have a huge impact on individuals; it can make people feel unsafe in their own home. We have had considerable success in the last couple of years in taking persistent offenders off the streets. Having such individuals housed in Les Nicolles will have undoubtedly had an impact on this figure.
While reported crime was down, the number of arrests remained relatively consistent.
1,443 arrested last year, a reduction of 21.
46% of all arrests linked to alcohol.
Increase in identified firearms offences (miscellaneous offence)
37 last year compared to six in 2014
This is an area that is part led by our inspection regime and part led by intelligence.
The 37 offences do not reflect 37 difference people; we had one investigation in particular (in January 2015) whereby a significant number of illegally held firearms and ammunition were recovered, which led to multiple offences.
Significant increase in speeding offences identified - 363 last year compared to 205 in 2014
We have a proactive Roads Policing Unit and, supported by their uniformed operations colleagues, the team has been very proactive during the last year, being a visible presence on island roads, educating drivers and reporting offenders where appropriate.
Breaking the speed limit is a contributory factor in many road traffic collisions. Speeding not only puts the driver at risk, but places other road users in increased danger also, so the fact that we have identified more speeding drivers is a positive step in our efforts to make the roads as safe as possible.
Number of individuals convicted increased by three (27 up from 24 in 2014)
Number of Royal Court 'convictions' increased by 19 (39 up from 20 in 2014). NB, the Royal Court convictions are about the number of offences convicted, not the people. That's why there are more Royal Court convictions than there are individuals convicted.
£1m. cannabis bust
Just before the New Year a GBA-led operation, supported by police, resulted in the arrest of two men and seizure of cannabis resin with a street value of £1m. This was one of the largest cannabis seizures in the last decade.
Consistent stats for money laundering, with four people convicted (same as 2014).
The month-long Royal Court trial involving a couple from Sark representative a significant piece of work by the Economic Crime Division, given that it was the culmination of a four-year investigation that had taken in evidence from six international jurisdictions.
ECD is receiving an increasing number of suspicious activity reports from the finance industry (978 up from 797 in 2014). This is a significant amount of work but crucial to help maintain the island's position as a well-regulated and well-policed finance centre.