A crime tsar has praised North Wales Police after new crime figures showed it was the best performing force in Wales.

The latest official statistics show that all crime in the area, excluding fraud, has been cut by three per cent.

It is the only force in Wales where crime has been reduced – all the rest have experienced increases.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick CB QC said: “I am very pleased with the performance of North Wales Police as the only force in Wales where crime has been reduced.

“Not only do we have the best performing force in Wales, we’re also joint third among all the forces in England and Wales.

“The three per cent cut in crime, excluding fraud, is an excellent achievement in the current financial climate.

“North Wales Police has rightly been commended by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary for the way in which it has succeeded in maintaining the integrity of the force at time of financial cutbacks.

“Public confidence in the force is high and North Wales Police is doing a very good job in ensuring that people feel secure in their homes and safe in public places.

“These latest figures reflect well on the force’s dedicated team of officers and staff but there is no room for complacency and I will be keeping a close eye on things.

“At the same time, a number of the force’s custody suites were not fit for purpose and we are investing a great deal of money in bringing our provision up to the necessary standard. A case in point is the new state-of-the-art complex that will be part of the new police station in Llay, near Wrexham, which will be better for everybody concerned, including staff.

“Policing has changed very considerably in the last two and a half years, not only in terms of governance because of the changes made by the Act in 2011 in introducing police and crime commissioners, replacing the police authorities, but also there are new and emerging crimes like cybercrime and child sexual exploitation that we need to tackle.

“North Wales Police has a good record for identifying emerging crimes and crimes which require specialist teams, for example, the Amethyst Team which concentrated on rape and serious sexual offences.

“The offence is no more prevalent than what it was years ago but the complaints about it have escalated which demonstrates that setting up specialist teams promotes confidence amongst the public and the public will come forward and make the complaint.

“I’m hoping for a similar positive result from the setting up of the teams dedicated to complaints of child sexual exploitation and combating cybercrime.

“As we move forward, my role is to ensure the force is as effective and as efficient as it can be within the available finance and I remain focused on meeting the challenges ahead.”