NATIONAL crime statistics show overall crime has fallen across the county while another survey revealed Swindon is one of the places with rising levels of business crime.

The Office of National Statistics released national crime figures yesterday showing that crime in Wiltshire has dropped by 5.6 per cent on last year, which means there have been nearly 2,000 fewer victims of crime.

The fall coincides with some of the toughest cutbacks Wiltshire Police have experienced since it was formed in 1839 after making £9m in efficiency savings.

Swindon itself has seen a drop in offences of violence, robbery, burglary and anti-social behaviour between April and July compared with the same period last year. Robbery was down 45 per cent while domestic burglary was down 32 per cent.

However, insurance giant AXA’s annual Business Crime Index showed Swindon was among areas across the UK where crime such as theft, criminal damage and violence against firms has been on the rise, bucking the national trend.

Despite being the force with the second lowest number of police officers per 100,000 population, Wiltshire Police has one of the lowest crime rates per 1,000 people, positioned in ninth place out of the 38 police forces in England.

Chief Constable Patrick Geenty said: “I am committed to delivering the best service to the public.

“Wiltshire Police continue to make savings while remaining the professional and committed police force that the public want.

“Public confidence continues to rise and 86.1 per cent of victims are satisfied with the service Wiltshire Police provide.

“Working with our partners, there is still a long way to go to meet the Spending Review savings but we have plans in place which will deliver the Police and Crime Commissioner’s strategic aims while looking at the best ways to save money and improve our service.

“Wiltshire Police has been through difficult change and there is more ahead.

“All of our officers now spend 77 per cent of their time out of police stations due to the best use of technology and restructuring of response teams.

“I am very proud of all of the officers and staff who continue to work hard to keep Wiltshire one of the safest counties in the country.”

Over the last year across the county, there has been 36 per cent reduction in robbery, which is the largest reduction seen nationally. The force is also fourth nationally for having the lowest dwelling burglary rates.

Through local initiatives vehicle crime has dropped by 10.9 per cent compared to last year and Wiltshire Police continue to help the public keep their personal belongings and vehicles safe.