Devon Strategic Assessment 2014-15 – Monitored Themes


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Operation Yewtree and the continued celebrity cases may well have had a positive effect on victims reporting both on old crimes and current ones – continued monitoring will be required to check if this effect continues.Between 2009/10 and 2014/15 the number of recorded rapes in Devon has increased by 129% (158 to 362).  This increase reflects rapes reported in the same year as it was committed and rapes that occurred in previous years but reported this year. Those reported and committed in the same year represents 35% of all rapes reported in year compared to 50% in 2010/11 – which suggests the Yewtree effect is diminishing.  In the last year the increase of reported rapes in the current year from 177 to 235 represents a 33% increase.

The continued rise in reported rapes to some extent will because of better reporting procedures but the figures are worrying and need to be addressed.

YearNo. rapes reportedNo. rapes committed in earlier yearsNo. rapes committed in same year as reported% Committed in earlier years

Troubled Families

The Troubled Families Programme aims to work with families who have multiple problems, who will in turn benefit from an integrated whole family approach. The expanded Troubled Families Programme remains a programme for families with multiple, high cost problems, although the profile and extent of these problems may differ from those of families supported by the current programme. The expanded Troubled Families Programme will retain the current programme’s focus on families with multiple high cost problems and continue to include families affected by poor school attendance, youth crime, anti-social behaviour and unemployment. However, it will also reach out to families with a broader range of problems, including those affected by domestic violence and abuse, with younger children who need help, where crime and anti-social behaviour problems may become intergenerational and with a range of physical and mental health problems.

To be eligible for the expanded programme, each family must experience at least two of the following six risks:

  1. Parents and children involved in crime or anti-social behaviour.
  2. Children who have not been attending school regularly.
  3. Children who need help: children of all ages, who need help, are identified as in need or are subject to a Child Protection Plan.
  4. Adults out of work or at risk of financial exclusion or young people at risk of worklessness.
  5. Families affected by domestic violence and abuse.
  6. Parents and children with a range of health problems

Clearly the six risk areas link very closely with the priorities and work of the Safer Devon Partnership.

Road Traffic Casualties

Road Traffic Collisions Resulting in Casualty
If you compare 2014/15 with 2010/11 the number of road traffic collisions resulting in death increased by 4% (1 more fatality), serious injury casualties increased by 8.5%, meanwhile slightly injured casualties decreased by 11.1%
Casualty severity by injury and year
 Injury2010-112011-122012-132013-142014-15% change   13/14 – 14/15% change   10/11 – 14/15

NB: 2014-15 data is provisional and subject to change until fully checked and verified with the Dept. for Transport – due May 2016

National Guidance defines road collisions as rare, random, multi-factored events usually preceded by an event in which a driver fails to cope with his or her environment.  Consequently – being rare and random – road collisions tend to defy simple explanations but careful data analysis can sometimes expose patterns in collision factors that help us to understand causation and what actions may be necessary to intervene.

The data for 2014 suggests a top 5 set of ‘contributory factors’ relating to fatal and serious injury collisions. These are, in priority order:

  1. Failed to look properly
  2. Loss of control
  3. Failed to judge other person’s path or speed
  4. Careless / reckless / in a hurry
  5. Travelling too fast for conditions

If all the contributory factors are brought together into groups then the top five groups for the most serious collisions are:

  1. Driver/rider error
  2. Injudicious action
  3. Behaviour or inexperience
  4. Pedestrian related
  5. Impairment or distraction

After many years of treating injury collision clusters – where conspicuously high numbers of collisions occur in the same location – we are finding that collisions are now more randomly spread across the network.  This means that the intervention that we identify in order to treat collisions are less geographical in nature and more related to behaviour (as above) and demographics.  In Devon, in 2014, the highest risk groups have been identified as:

  • Younger drivers
  • Older drivers
  • Drivers on work related journeys
  • Motorcyclists

Addressing poor driving behaviours within these groups represents our road casualty reduction priority areas in future years.

The Honest Truth Project developed in South Devon to reduce number of young people killed or seriously injured on the roads is now being delivered across the county and focussing on different driver demographics. Key messages concentrate on speed, seatbelts, mobile phones, drink, drugs, distractions, showing off and tiredness. The Project focuses on educating about risks and then encouraging behaviour change.

Road Safety Team, Devon County Council

Deliberate Fires (arson)

Devon has seen a steady fall in the number of Deliberate Fires (both Primary and Secondary) that Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service has attended since 2010/11. The decline in secondary files could be linked to similar falls in Anti-Social Behaviour. Primary fires tend to be more motivated against individuals and therefore not necessarily affected by the same trend.

Deliberate Fires
Deliberately started fires. arson01-2014-15

Primary Fires: All fires in buildings, vehicles and outdoor structures OR Any fire involving casualties, rescues OR Fires attended by five or more appliances. Secondary Fires: An incident that did not occur at a primary location, was not a chimney fire in an occupied building, did not involve casualties and was attended by four or fewer appliances.

Restorative Justice (RJ)

Restorative Justice creates opportunities for people affected by crime, conflict, anti-social behaviour or the harmful actions of others to come together with the person responsible for causing the harm in order to get answers to their questions and to explain the effect the incident has had on them.  The process aims to help everyone move on. It gives those who accept responsibility for the harm they have caused an insight into the real impact their actions have had on the person affected, their friends and family or the community. It also creates opportunities to find ways in which those who have caused the harm can make amends for what they have done.

Since April 2015 there Restorative Justice has been offered to victims of crime in Devon. The Police Victim Care Unit has been in contact with victims and ensured that they are aware of the opportunity to engage in the RJ process. In addition, there have been a number of awareness raising activities so that historic victims of crime are being encouraged to come forward and go through the process.

Volunteers from across Devon have been recruited and trained to deliver RJ. The volunteers work with both parties aiming for a conference between the victim and the perpetrator which allows the victim to ask questions and explain the impact that the event has had on them. It also redresses the power imbalance by asking the person who has been harmed what needs to happen to make things right.

Many people who have caused harm agree to be a part of a restorative meeting because they have a desire to repair the harm that they have caused. Hearing about the effect that their actions have had on others might be hard for them to hear, but it helps them to fully understand the harm that has been caused and can help prevent it happening again.

The take-up so far has been low, but it is anticipated that as the process is understood and the benefits shared, there will be a larger number of individuals wishing to take the opportunity of RJ.

Rural Crime

Although crime rates are generally lower in rural areas some crimes are specific to the rural community.

National trends recognise there are two types of criminal that target farms and farmers:

  • Opportunistic thieves looking for easy targets such as tools in outhouses, fuel supplies, garden machinery and small vehicles like quad bikes.
  • Professional international groups that target high end specific vehicles like tractors which they quickly smuggle out of the country.

There is some evidence of rustling increasing especially sheep, which are not always checked daily, and recently bees have been stolen from hives.

A recent example of rural crime appearing in Social Media.
<style=”text-align: center;”>rural01-2014-15

An incident occurred on Friday 10th July 2015 where these 2 men were caught on CCTV cameras breaking into a shed in Ivybridge, South Devon. The offenders stole a number of power tools before making off. Do you recognise either of these men or did you see any suspicious activity at that time? Please call police on 101 with any information and spread the word!

Farmers are increasingly becoming security conscious with CCTV and security lighting. Tractors are becoming more secure as well.

The Police lead a Rural Crime Group that meets regularly to discuss issues across East & Mid Devon.  The local Police Community Support Officers are out registering farms and rural properties for the Community Messaging Service managed by the Police and provide information packs that farmers can use to prevent crime. This includes signage and they can also offer an engraving service for property.

Warning signs have been put into some public car parks and beauty spots identified as ‘hot spots’ for vehicle crime. These have been funded by the CSP.

Welfare Reform and Crime

The following neighbourhoods were selected by taking Department of Works & Pensions data on Disability Allowance, Income Support and Out Of Work benefits.  This data is provided at Lower Super Output Area and a best fit of these to Police Neighbourhood geography produced the list. The neighbourhoods with greater numbers of benefit claimants are towards the top of the lists. The three types of crime chosen are all ones that are likely to occur locally within the neighbourhood.

This is the second year the data has been compared and Welfare Reform has not been implemented fully as yet so it is probably a little early to make too many presumptions about increases and decreases.

Welfare Reform and crime
 The Welfare Reform proposals currently being processed by parliament may affect those currently claiming benefits quite dramatically. Though it is hard to quantify, it may have a detrimental knock-on effect on crime levels. By looking at neighbourhoods where high levels of benefit are currently being claimed and their current local crime levels these areas can then be monitored
Domestic Abuse
NeighbourhoodIncidents 2012-13Incidents 2013-14Incidents 2014-15% Change 2012-13 to 2014-15Rate per ‘000 2012-13Rate per ‘000 2013-14Rate per ‘000 2014-15
Ilfracombe East & Central1782021917.3%23.95    27.05        25.58
Wonford1982172064.0%27.99    30.79        29.23
Barnstaple Central Town17423121724.7%33.59    44.02        41.35
Mincinglake14015116014.3%24.03    25.40        26.91
Newton Abbot East2432652450.8%18.64    20.44        18.90
Newton Abbot Town24430029822.1%19.16    23.24        23.08
Teignmouth271251240-11.4%17.72    16.40        15.68
Whipton Barton162161158-2.5%20.31    20.18        19.81
Barnstaple Forches736759-19.2%40.2    38.15        33.60
Bere Peninsula526950-3.8%6.91    9.21          6.68
Bideford East-the-Water123132115-6.5%22.07    22.85        19.90
Bideford West27534633722.5%20.23    25.54        24.87
Bishops Tawton, Landkey, Swimbridge & Whiddon Valley69908421.7%9.56    12.50        11.67
Countess Wear & Topsham778711853.2%8.56    9.47        12.85
Dartmouth Townstal & Rural4958490.0%8.19    9.71          8.20
Dawlish13517715514.8%11.0914.41        12.62
Exeter City Centre207177-19.3%95.9295.92    78.46        74.02
Exmouth Littleham981070.0%17.8517.85    19.25        17.63
Exwick2061953.9%22.1422.14    21.06       23.11
Gorwell & Fort Hill, Frankmarsh & St Georges125120-16.8%26.8126.81    26.08        22.60
Newtown & St Leonards1241421.6%11.0411.04    12.71        11.28
Pinhoe8999-12.4%12.8212.82    14.10       11.11
Tiverton Lowman12412428.2%15.8315.83    15.60        20.00
Tiverton Rural415624.4%4.934.93    6.78          6.18
Tiverton Westexe859218.8%17.1517.15    18.73       20.57
Westward Ho!, Northam & Appledore, Hartland Rural12919427.1%7.387.38    11.10          9.38


Domestic Burglary
NeighbourhoodDomestic Burglary 2012-13Domestic Burglary 2013-14Domestic Burglary 2015-15% Change 2012-13 to 2014-15Rate per ‘000 2012-13Rate per ‘000 2013-14Rate per ‘000 2014-15
Ilfracombe East & Central13342161.5%1.754.552.81
Barnstaple Central Town22212722.7%
Newton Abbot East2118239.5%1.611.391.77
Newton Abbot Town18292327.8%1.412.251.78
Whipton Barton12122283.3%0.691.502.76
Barnstaple Forches412-50.0%2.20.571.14
Bere Peninsula372-33.3%0.40.930.27
Bideford East-the-Water378166.7%0.541.211.38
Bideford West2511278.0%1.840.811.99
Bishops Tawton, Landkey, Swimbridge & Whiddon Valley11128-27.3%1.521.671.11
Countess Wear & Topsham15262353.3%1.67>2.832.50
Dartmouth Townstal & Rural43525.0%0.670.500.84
Exeter City Centre16911-31.3%7.413.994.88
Exmouth Littleham1161318.2%21.082.34
Gorwell & Fort Hill, Frankmarsh & St Georges5813160.0%1.071.742.82
Newtown & St Leonards543340-25.9%4.812.953.58
Tiverton Lowman1376-53.8%1.660.880.75
Tiverton Rural2095-75.0%2.411.090.61
Tiverton Westexe10107-30.0%
Westward Ho!, Northam & Appledore, Hartland Rural152013-13.3%1.541.140.74


Vehicle Crime
NeighbourhoodVehicle Crime 2012-13Vehicle Crime 2013-14Vehicle Crime 2014-15% Change 2012-13 to 2014-15Rate per ‘000 2012-13Rate per ‘000 2013-14Rate per ‘000 2014-15
Ilfracombe East & Central293419-34.5%3.94.552.54
Barnstaple Central Town1625160.0%3.094.763.05
Newton Abbot East3662360.0%2.764.782.78
Newton Abbot Town656451-21.5%5.14.963.95
Whipton Barton554420-63.6%3.155.522.51
Barnstaple Forches51620.0%2.750.573.42
Bere Peninsula71515114.3%0.932.002.00
Bideford East-the-Water11108-27.3%1.971.731.38
Bideford West292925-13.8%
Bishops Tawton, Landkey, Swimbridge & Whiddon Valley16262025.0%2.223.612.78
Countess Wear & Topsham24192712.5%2.672.072.94
Dartmouth Townstal & Rural16911-31.3%2.671.511.84
Exeter City Centre422933-21.4%19.4612.8514.63
Exmouth Littleham26218-69.2%4.743.781.44
Gorwell & Fort Hill, Frankmarsh & St Georges18183172.2%3.863.916.74
Newtown & St Leonards676345-32.8%5.975.644.03
Tiverton Lowman13249-30.8%1.663.021.13
Tiverton Rural152414-6.7%1.82.911.70
Tiverton Westexe9187-22.2%1.823.671.43
Westward Ho!, Northam & Appledore, Hartland Rural232119-17.4%2.361.201.09

Have your say – priorities identified by local partnership teams

The Have Your Say teams work at local levels and often involve Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), local councillors and members of the public. Issues that are raised locally can be solved by targeted police presence and/or by working with local councils to approach the issue from different angles.

Have Your Say Data
This data provided by Devon & Cornwall Constabulary analyses the priorities identified by local partnerships teams at their Local Policing Team Areas – 96 such areas have been analysed for Devon for 2014-15. The data reflects local concerns and not necessarily local crime statistics. The process was previously known as PACT (Partnerships & Community Together)
Districts – Speeding Vehicles – Percentage of Local Policing Teams that have identified this as a priority hys01-2014-15
Districts – Anti-Social Behaviour – Percentage of Local Policing Teams that have identified this as a priority. hys02-2014-15
Districts – Farm Crime – Percentage of Local Policing Teams that have identified this as a priority. hys03-2014-15
Local Policing Areas where Drug Supply is a priority issue
Barnstaple Newport
Combe Martin
Ilfracombe East & Central
Ilfracombe West
Tavistock Rural East
Local Policing Areas where Drug Related Problems is a priority issue
Bideford West
Combe Martin
Exminster & Rural
Ilfracombe East & Central
Ilfracombe West
Totnes East
Local Policing Areas where Alcohol Related Problems is a priority issue
Barnstaple Central Town
Bideford West
Cowick & St Thomas (Exeter)
Exeter City Centre
Totnes Town
Local Policing Areas where Shoplifting is a priority issue
Dartmouth Town
Exmouth Town
Newton Abbot East
Tavistock Town
Tiverton Town Centre
Totnes Town
Local Policing Areas where Farm Crime is a priority issue
Axminster Rural
Bovey Tracey & Moretonhampstead
Crediton Rural North
Crediton Rural South
Cullompton Outer & Bradninch
Holsworthy & Rural
Honiton Rural
Ivybridge Rural South
Lynton & Lynmouth
Ottery Rural
Local Policing Areas where Marine Crime is a priority issue
Dartmouth Town
Teignmouth Rural

The table below shows the number of participating teams in each district.

DistrictNo. Have Your Say TeamsDistrictNo. Have Your Say Teams
East Devon15South Hams12
Mid Devon12Torridge5
North Devon17West Devon7
  • Speeding Vehicles worries continue to be the largest single issue – though not in Torridge. ASB is about the same with Exeter decreasing and Torridge growing. Parking, Metal Theft & Street drinking are no longer so important but Farm Crime is much more of an issue (but not in West Devon & Exeter).
  • Five Police Areas highlight Drug Supply as a priority presumably it is of local relevance and seven with Drug Related Problems. Ilfracombe East & Central, Ilfracombe West and Combe Martin feature in both lists.
  • Six town centres are concerned about Alcohol related problems (up from two last year). Shoplifting still has seven market town centres. 12 areas are worried about Farm Crime and Dartmouth Town and Teignmouth Rural are worried about Marine Crime.