THE Chief Constable praised his officers and staff for helping drive down crime across Hampshire and reducing the number of burglaries to an all-time low.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed how break-ins at homes have dropped by 22 per cent, with 4,214 burglaries being investigated by police between September 2011 and 2012.

Numbers of robberies have also fallen by 27 per cent, with 772 such crimes reported, while there were 11,980 cases of violence causing injury to a person, a drop of 15 per cent in 12 months.

The statistics revealed how 1,769 sexual offences were reported, there were 4,309 cases of fraud and forgery and 20,220 cases of criminal damage.

Drugs offences, however, showed a seven per cent rise with 6,669 incidents – something Hampshire police say is as a result of proactive work, including the launch of the Daily Echo-backed Operation Fortress to tackle drug-related violence in Southampton.

Mr Marshall said: “The 12 per cent reduction in total crime across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is testament to the tireless dedication, commitment, hard work and ‘one team’ approach of officers and staff.”