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BLE in 2021: Slight reduction in overall crime

BLE in 2021: Slight reduction in overall crime

Friday 30 September 2022

BLE in 2021: Slight reduction in overall crime

Friday 30 September 2022


Bailiwick Law Enforcement has released its annual report for 2021, revealing a modest reduction in total crime incidences when compared to the previous year.

The report gives a broad overview of the challenges, cases, and crimes that both Guernsey Police and the Border Agency were presented with throughout the year.

1,954 crimes were recorded in Guernsey in 2021, slightly down on the previous two years at 2,122 and 2,299 respectively.

Ruari Hardy, Head of Law Enforcement, also noted that the service returned a “significant underspend” last year, but one which was generated by a “reduced workforce” reflecting “difficulties in attracting suitable new recruits”

Express will publish further reports on specific areas of Law Enforcement over the coming days, focusing on topics including staffing and recruitment challenges. 

You can read the report in full HERE

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Pictured: Head of Law Enforcement, Ruari Hardy holding a copy of 2021’s report.

Key figures

  • The Joint Emergency Services Control Centre took 16,068 calls for police services, 7,295 for ambulances, 1,376 for fire services, 199 for the coastguard and 47,103 for clinical covid enquiries. 
  • Six new call operators were hired in the first half of 2021 to maintain JESCC’s operations, receiving full training in call taking and dispatch for ‘blue light’ services. 
  • The High-Tech Crime Unit were involved in 508 investigations; 111 assault related, 14 for rape, 13 for indecent assault, 40 drug related, and 24 drug importation related.
  • There was a 42% increase in Child Strategy meetings at 321, and a 44% increase in Initial Child Protection Case Conferences. 
  • Meanwhile, Adult Strategy meetings decreased by 26%, as did pre-birth planning meetings at the same rate of reduction. 
  • There were 23 convictions for covid self-isolation breaches stemming from 58 investigations. 
  • 10 items required the deployment of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team, the majority being on Lihou. 
  • 33 calls made for the use of a Taser, with one incident requiring discharge. 
  • 2,194 traffic related offences were recorded, as well as 348 vehicular collisions – the majority of which resulted in either no or slight injuries.
  • Nearly 13,000 fixed penalty notices were issued. 
  • £509,531 worth of illicit drugs were seized
  • The Border Agency processed 259% more immigration applications to the Bailiwick when compared to 2020 numbers, and nearly 5,000 passports were handled. 
  • There was also a 142% increase in the number of goods declaration assessments. 
police station

Pictured: Guernsey Police Station.

Crime

2021 saw reductions in the number of several categories of recorded crime including arson and criminal damage, burglary, drug offences, fraud offences, possession of weapons, racial hatred, theft, and ‘violence against the person’.

There were some increases, however. 

Five firearms offences were recorded compared to two in 2020, public order offences increased by one to 27 incidents, and there were two additional robberies. 

Sexual offences also increased by 13 – there were 42 indecent assaults on female adults, 12 on female children, and 14 on young females. 

Eight incidents of indecent assault against males were recorded.

Instances of rape increased by three to 35

Miscellaneous crimes against society - which includes contempt of court, data protection and telecoms offences – remained at the same level, with 58 instances. 

Alderney saw 13 fewer instances of recorded crime at 25, but traffic offences more than doubled, with the most common being drink driving and third-party insurance.

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Pictured: A breakdown of sexual offences recorded in 2021.

4,428,734 litres of beer, 2,390,355 litres of wine, 1,121,178 litres of cider, and 458,716 litres of spiritis were imported and taxed in 2021.

Only spirits saw an increase of imported volume last year compared to other alcohol types.

Imports of tobacco were down 15% at 29,795 kilos.

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Pictured: Excise and Import revenues for 2021.

Mr Hardy recognised that public confidence in Law Enforcement was essential, particularly following high-profile cases of misconduct and corruption in the UK and USA. 

“Disturbing events more broadly have rightly had an impact upon public perception, particularly in the context of policing in the UK. These events have highlighted not only the pressing issue of violence against women and girls, but the damage inflicted upon public confidence in policing,” he said.

“Fortunately, such cases are extremely rare within the Bailiwick.”

No officers were dismissed from BLE in 2021, but resignations and retirement from Law Enforcement were up. 

But he also sought to draw attention to the hard and often distressing work that officers are required to undertake.

“These things have profound and lifelong effects on the staff who have to deal with them. It is inevitable that they will take those experiences home, and they will live with them forever. We should not forget that they undertake this work on behalf of our community and their work must be acknowledged,” said Mr Hardy.

Deputy Rob Prow

Pictured: Deputy Rob Prow has political responsibility for policing and law enforcement. 

Deputy Rob Prow, President of the Committee for Home Affairs said 2021 presented ongoing challenges with the covid-19 pandemic and Brexit. 

“Bailiwick Law Enforcement and all of its staff have worked exceptionally hard during this period to cope with covid-19 while also maintaining it's standard service delivery,” he said.

“It would also be remiss of me not to highlight the work that the Guernsey Border Agency has had to put in to both prepare for, and react to, Brexit, which
has continued to present change and challenge to the island even to this day.  

“Meanwhile, the police have continued to tackle issues across the breadth of law enforcement, and the Committee has been pleased to be able to support them in that, particularly on initiatives around sexual violence. Officers across BLE continue to work hard to serve this community, and the Committee and I thank them for their efforts to keep this Bailiwick safe and secure.”

Follow Express for further coverage, across next week, featuring interviews with Mr Hardy on drug offences, neighbourhood policing, and staffing challenges. 

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