Survey shows fear of crime is falling

FEAR of crime has fallen in South Yorkshire for the fourth year running, according to statistics released by the county's police authority.

Each year, the authority conducts its Your Voice Counts survey, which questions a sample of people in the county about their experiences of crime and of dealing with the police.

Figures show that the percentage of people that were "very and fairly worried" about becoming a victim of crime fell five per cent from 60 per cent in 2009/10 to 55 per cent in 2010/11.

The survey also claims that concerns over car crime decreased, while a fear of being physically attacked dropped from 53 per cent to 47 per cent.

The authority said yesterday that the survey was sent to more than 93,000 households to gather vital information and monitor public perception on neighbourhood policing. It contained questions on issues such as anti-social behaviour and criminal justice.

The survey shows that levels of anti-social behaviour appear to have remained static with the figure for experiencing or witnessing problems remaining at 32 per cent for the last three years.

But according to the figures people are now more aware of so-called safer neighbourhood teams, which are made up of dedicated community officers who deal with issues highlighted by residents.

Charles Perryman, the chairman of South Yorkshire Police Authority, said: "The survey has been a very important indicator to us of the public's view over the last four years and has helped us channel resources and focus where they are most needed.

"In light of the coalition Government's public spending cuts, and the resulting 40m shortfall the force faces in its annual budget over the next four years, it is more important than ever the police and the authority are able to gauge what the region feels about the current service and what it wants to see in the future."