Merseyside Police report 10% fall in violent crime

Violent attacks in Merseyside have dropped by 10% in the past year, according to new Home Office figures.

However reports of sexual assaults increased by 30% between October 2010 and September 2011, said police.

"For the past five years we have seen continual reductions," said Assistant Chief Constable Helen King.

There has been an overall fall in reported crime of 3.1% with car crime and criminal damage dropping at higher rate than the national average.

"It is positive news that in Merseyside, incidents of violence are lower than the national average.

"On Merseyside we have seen a fall of 10% in reports of violence compared to a 7.9% drop nationally," said Ms King.

"This is reflective of the hard work and dedication of our officers and partners in reducing this violent crime in our communities with a wide-range of initiatives to tackle alcohol and drug-related violence."

The rise in sex attacks is attributed to a greater reporting of these offences since the formation of a dedicated rape investigation 'Unity' team in 2010.

This team sees specialist detectives work alongside expert Crown Prosecution Service lawyers to build cases.

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