Huntingdonshire is a good place to live and work, according to new survey

HUNTINGDONSHIRE is a good place to live, find a job, buy a house and go to school, according to a state-of-the-district report by Huntingdonshire Community Safety Partnership. And, overall, crime levels have been going down in the majority of areas. The r

HUNTINGDONSHIRE is a good place to live, find a job, buy a house and go to school, according to a state-of-the-district report by Huntingdonshire Community Safety Partnership.

And, overall, crime levels have been going down in the majority of areas.

The report covers the second year of the safety partnership, which was set up to tackle crime, anti-social behaviour and look after the district's wellbeing.

It states that over the last 12 months it had some great success, including:

- A reduction in total crime of nearly 15 per cent

- Criminal damage down 24 per cent

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- Thefts from vehicles down 28 per cent

However, the safety partnership, which included Huntingdonshire District Council, the county council, police, the Luminus Group and other groups, found that domestic violence had increased between September 2008 and August 2009.

But a spokesman said this was because more victims have been encouraged to speak up.

An HDC spokesman said: "According to research, victims suffer some 36 attacks before they seek help.

"We want them to come forward sooner and to stop repeat attacks, so we would expect to see more cases."

There were also slight increases in some types of crime (see below for details).

The report also looks at other areas of life within the district, including averagehouse prices with are described as the second lowest in Cambridgeshire, despite and increase of 84 per cent since 2001.

The report adds that the current ratio of average house prices to average earnings makes homes slightly more affordable than they were in 2004.

On the jobs front unemployment was recorded at 5.1 per cent, below the national and regional average.

On health issues the most common causes of early deaths in Huntingdonshire are cancer and circulatory diseases. Women can expect to live to 83 and men to 79.

The percentage of pupils gaining five or more A* to C grades at GCSE has risen from 60 per cent to 64 per cent in the past five years.

Overall, according to the results of a CCC survey highlighted in the report, we're happy with Huntingdonshire - well 88 per cent of respondents were satisfied with Hunts as a place to live - this second highest percentage in Cambridgeshire.

The population, estimated at 163,100, is expected to increase by 2.4 per cent over the next 13 years but from 2016, the proportion of people under 19 is forecast to decrease with the over 65s sector going up significantly.

Hunts by numbers

Population: 163,100 in 2008

Life expectancy: 83 for women 79 for men.

Unemployment: 5 per cent.

Happy: 88 per cent.

Crime

Total crime: Down by 14.9 per cent from April 2009 - to March 2010

Criminal damage: Reduced by 24 per cent

Theft from vehicles: Down 28 per cent

Domestic violence: Increased by 36 per cent (554 additional incidents) to 2,111.

Violent crime: 1,686 offences between September 2008 and August 2009. Huntingdon West (including the town centre) was the worst area - 207 from September 2008 to August 2009.

Burglary: Increased from September 2008 to August 2009 for the second year running but this time by 7 per cent compared with 33 per cent. Peaks were August-September 2008, January/February and April/May 2009. The study says the outbreaks were no longer than a month and stopped after key individuals had been arrested.

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