CRIME has fallen by seven per cent in South Yorkshire during the last financial year.

The biggest reductions were recorded in crimes of anti-social behaviour, violence, theft, criminal damage and arson.

Overall, that means there were 7,000 fewer crimes and many thousands of fewer victims in the year ending March 2013, compared to the previous 12-month period.

It was the 24th successive year that crime has fallen in South Yorkshire.

South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Shaun Wright, has given a cautious welcome to the crime figures, released on July 18.

He said that whilst he was pleased to see a continuing reduction in the overall crime rate, he expressed concern that the force was still some way behind regional averages.

He said: "I applaud South Yorkshire Police for achieving further reductions in crime, particularly given the severe and unfair budget cuts imposed upon them by government.

"But I am concerned that there are, on average, still more crimes happening here than in other, similar parts of the country.

"I am particularly concerned that offences of shoplifting, burglary and sexual offences have increased in the last year and the force must do all it can to make significant inroads in these types of crime."