CRIME across Dudley and Sandwell is continuing to fall with almost 4,000 fewer victims over the last 12 months.

Total recorded crime in Sandwell has dropped by 2,600 to 18,000, while in Dudley the figure for 2012/13 fell by 1,242 to 14,188.

There were 299 fewer burglaries in Sandwell, 237 fewer robbery victims and 960 less crimes against businesses across the borough.

In Dudley, there were 129 less burglaries and robberies were down by 24.3 per cent equating to 96 fewer victims.

West Midlands Police say the annual figures reveal the region is a safer place in which to live and work now than at any time in recent history, with crime at roughly half the level it was a decade ago.

Dudley is also the UK's number one area for helping criminals break their offending cycle and getting them to turn over a new leaf, with burglary rates falling by 40 per cent since the new approach was adopted.

Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe described the crime figures as "promising" but vowed officers would further drive down crime and protect the public.

She said: "Policing has seen unprecedented changes both nationally and locally, presenting considerable challenges, but we’ve met those challenges head on and the latest figures show West Midlands Police continues to perform extremely well.

"We’ve witnessed some terrible crimes recently in the West Midlands, none more so than the fatal stabbing of teenager Christina Edkins as she made her way to school. No-one can overstate the devastating impact these incidents have on friends and family, and we appreciate the concern they spark in communities.

"However, it’s important these shocking attacks are viewed in context. Crimes involving knives are down massively in the last decade - down 75 per cent - and are now mercifully rare.

“It’s easy to read about such terrible crimes and believe crime is on the up − but in reality crime is down and down considerably.”

"Our officers and staff have worked closely with communities to achieve a phenomenal reduction in crime − but we can’t be complacent and will continue tackling criminality at all levels to make the streets of the West Midlands even safer."