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Police report a 7 percent increase in recorded crime on the West Coast in the 2009 calendar year. The resolution rate increased from 56.7 percent in 2008 to 57.1 percent in 2009, well above the national average of 47.8 percent.
The increase in total crime was driven entirely by Drugs and Anti-Social offences, which increased 33 percent. Cannabis offences (+145 offences) was the main driver for the increase in this category. As this category is, in general, a measure of proactive Policing, the figure reflects staffing at full strength and a positive approach to enforcement.
There were 59 more recorded Violence offences in 2009 than in 2008, driven mainly by increases in Minor Assaults (+30 offences) and Grievous Assaults (+12 offences) offences. Police have responded to these increases by focusing on alcohol and the associated disorder which occurs at night.
There was a reduction in Property Damage offences, driven mainly by a decrease in Willful Damage offences, which was down by 47 offences from last year.
This reduction in offending has accompanied the Police focus on alcohol and disorder in the evenings as people leave licensed premises.