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Crime falling across the county

Crime has dropped by more than 10 per cent across Kent and Medway.

Quarterly figures from the Home Office for April to June 2008 show that all crime in the county fell by 10.4 per cent, or 3,675 offences, compared with the same period last year.

Burglary of people's homes dropped by 15.2 per cent (231 crimes), while vehicle crime saw a reduction of 15.4 per cent (689 crimes).

Criminal damage fell by 9.6 per cent (798 crimes) and violent crime reduced by eight per cent (590 crimes).

At the same time, detection rates went up to 30.6 per cent.

Fraud and forgery offences were the only type of crime to increase, and went up by 207 offences (17.3 per cent), but the force credited this to changes in how the discovery of 'skimming' devices fitted to cash machines is recorded.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Harris said: "There is still much emphasis on neighbourhood policing in our county and our officers continue to work closely with local communities to tackle the issues of most concern.

"We are pleased with the figures for this year so far, but we will not be complacent. Quarterly figures do not reflect the whole year, but we hope they have set the tone and the trend for the remaining months of this financial year and onwards."

Kent Police has also written to the Home Office to express concern at changes to the new way in which violent crime figures are recorded and reported, which has led to several forces in the UK wrongly classifying the number of serious offences in their area.

Officials say some crimes that should have been classed as grievous bodily harm were recorded as a lesser assault.

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