CLAIMS by the British National Party (BNP) that crime is on the increase in Welwyn Hatfield have been rebutted by Hertfordshire Police.

Latest figures show that crime in the region is down by 12 per cent compared with the previous year.

The figures, measured between April 1 and November 25, 2007, found that violent crime has decreased by 22.4 percent compared with the same period in 2006.

Residential burglary is down by 14.2 per cent and motor vehicle crime by 5.3 percent.

Robbery has also dropped by 8.8 per cent, serious violent crime by 26 per cent and serious sexual offences have reduced by 22.2 per cent.

Area commander Alison Roome-Gifford said: "The results are in direct contradiction to a leaflet published by the BNP which was brought to our attention by a member of the public who received it through her door in Welham Green.

"We would like to reassure the community that the claims that robberies, burglaries and sexual assaults are on the increase, are factually incorrect as confirmed by the figures."

"The figures demonstrate that we have had at least 721 fewer victims in terms of all crime this year across the Welwyn Hatfield district. That is something to be proud of.

"Aside from the hard work our officers, Police Community Support Officers, police staff and partner agencies put into keeping crime down, we also have to give huge thanks to the general public - who are our eyes and ears in the community.

"As well as Neighbourhood Watch and other groups and organisations who work closely with us, it's the information that comes in from members of the public who answer our witness appeals and who let us know what's going on and where.

"We all work together to let offenders know their criminal behaviour is unacceptable in our communities and it won't be tolerated."