CRIME in Cumbria fell by eight per cent in the year to September 2012, figures released today show.

Burglaries are down two per cent - one of the lowest rates in England - sexual offences dropped 20 per cent and violent crimes against people are down eight per cent.

And although criminal damage cases have reduced by 11 per cent, Cumbria still has more offences per 1,000 people in England and Wales.

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Richard Rhodes, said: “The latest set of crime figures are good.

“Crime in Cumbria has fallen by eight per cent compared with the year to September 2011 and the county remains one of the safest places to live, work and visit.

“It is reassuring that overall satisfaction with the police remains high with 68 per cent agreeing that the police deal with issues that matter to people and this is something that I want to maintain more as I set the future policing priorities in the four-year Police and Crime Plan.

“I would like to thank everyone for their hard work in making Cumbria even safer, as it is about all of us working together to keep communities safe.”

Also welcoming the new figures was temporary chief constable Bernard Lawson, who described the drop as 'a fantastic achievement'.

“It is great to see that Cumbria has recorded the lowest crime rates in England, second only to City of London police," he said.

“It is hard to achieve significant reductions in crime year upon year in a county which is already one of the safest in the country – yet, these figures reveal that police officers and staff continue to work hard to make Cumbria even safer.

“Crime in Cumbria is down across the board. We promise to continue to work hard to tackle all crime, but particularly those that have the most impact on victims.

“Burglaries are particularly distressing crimes and have been a continued focus for us.

“These crimes have reduced by two per cent however burglaries in people’s homes have reduced by four per cent - indicating that there were far fewer people who had to endure the heartache of becoming a victim of this crime.

“It is encouraging to see that the public are maintaining their high levels of confidence in the constabulary with 68 per cent of people either agreeing or strongly agreeing that police are dealing with local concerns.

“Community policing is at the heart of all we do within the constabulary and we will continue to focus on improving each neighbourhood by working alongside the public to tackle the issues that affect them most.

“Reports of sexual offences are also down by 20 per cent which is encouraging, however we know that this is often a crime that can go unreported and this will remain an area of focus for us this year.

“We will not be complacent and throughout 2013, we will continue to work to maintain low crime levels and make a positive difference to the communities of Cumbria."