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PR1708/NR/MF

23 May 2013

Mid Sussex is the most peaceful area in Sussex and the 8th most peaceful in the UK according to a recent study into levels of crime and violence.

Research has been carried out by the Institute for Economics and Peace to find the most peaceful and least peaceful areas in Britain. The study used the Home Office data on crime to rank 343 local authority areas in order of peacefulness. Mid Sussex placed in the top 10 most peaceful areas in the UK, scoring extremely well due to its low levels of violence, public disorder, weapons crime and above average police officer numbers.

Nationally, violence has decreased across the country with each English region seeing its UK Peace Index score improve by more than 10%. The reasons for the national fall in violence are varied but the study identifies changes in policing, reduced alcohol consumption and the adoption of new technologies as some of the main factors in the decline. It concluded that in areas like Mid Sussex, improving incomes, high employment, good access to education and the availability of local support services all help to create higher levels of peace.

“Mid Sussex is a wonderful place to bring up a family and live a peaceful life,” said Councillor Garry Wall, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council. “We all want to live in harmony, free from the fear of crime, and this latest study shows just how lucky we are to live in Mid Sussex, one of the safest places in the whole of the UK.

“As a District Council we work as part of the Mid Sussex Partnership, alongside Sussex Police and other local authorities, to deliver a range of crime prevention projects that help to maintain low levels of crime in our area. These Partnership initiatives have proven to be a huge success and one of the main reasons is the number of local people who have supported the schemes.

“We have a tremendous sense of community spirit in Mid Sussex because many people have known each other for generations. People often take the time to look out for their neighbours, and other vulnerable members of the community, which helps to keep crime low and makes people feel more secure.

“Our Peace Index rating is also influenced by our excellent schools and the variety of employment opportunities in Mid Sussex, both of which are proven to dramatically reduce instances of violent crime. Our local economy has stood up remarkably well to the global economic downturn and our rate of unemployment remains extremely low.”

Sussex Police welcomed the findings of the report but also understand the importance of remaining vigilant and continuing to improve the community's feeling of safety.

Sussex is a large diverse county and the police will continue to listen to the views of every community to ensure all three police divisions in the county are tailored to the needs and desires of local residents.

District Commander for Mid Sussex Chief Inspector Jon Hull said: "It is good to see the Peace Index confirming that Mid Sussex is great place to live in and to visit. We are committed to public service first and foremost. Our people are dedicated to that cause but we cannot achieve a peaceful Sussex without working closely with our partners including Mid Sussex District Council and our communities. We will always strive to improve and our focus will firmly remain on victims and to build confidence in the service we deliver."

For more information about crime prevention in Mid Sussex contact Lucie Venables, Community Safety Officer for Mid Sussex District Council on 01444 477550 or email Lucie.Venables@midsussex.gov.uk.

ENDS

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