THE Isles of Scilly have been hailed as the safest place to live in Britain after it emerged the islands have the lowest crime rate in the country.
According to a survey in a national newspaper, the Scillies recorded only 12 offences of criminal damage and six burglaries last year. There were no sex attacks and no vehicle crime.
Low crime rates on the isolated islands, about 28 miles off the south-west tip of Cornwall, were in stark contrast to urban areas, particularly in the north of England.
For vandalism, recorded as criminal damage, the highest rate was in Corby, Northamptonshire, at 33.6 offences for every 1,000 people living there – six times worse than the Scillies, which recorded a 5.7 rating.
In a survey covering every force in England and Wales, the burglary hot spot was Burnley in Lancashire, with 2,154 offences – or 24.6 per 1,000 people. The Scillies had a rate of 2.8 per 1,000.
Slough in Berkshire was the worst place for car crime, with 30 offences for every 1,000 people living there. The Scillies scored nil.
When it came to sex attacks, the blackspot was Westminster in London, where the rate stood at 2.3 per 1,000 people. The Scillies emerged scoreless.
The population of 2,135 across the five main inhabited islands are policed by a team comprising a sergeant and two constables, who work from a white police station on St Mary's.
Meanwhile, North Cornwall had one of the lowest levels of car crime and burglaries. West Devon also had a low burglary rate.
The analysis underlines how statistics regularly show how the Westcountry is not blighted by crime to the same extent as many other parts of the country.
According to the latest British Crime Survey, Devon and Cornwall now rank as the fourth safest place to live in the country, with an average of 59 crimes per 1,000 residents last year, against a national average of 83.
The number of crimes committed across the region fell by almost 8,000, the equivalent of a 7 per cent drop.
But the Home Office figures revealed that the perception in the level of crime in the region remained disproportionately high.
It showed 14 per cent of people perceived a high level of anti-social behaviour, while nearly a quarter believed that drug use or dealing went on close to their homes.
But in reality, figures painted a much brighter picture.
Vehicle crime decreased 16 per cent, burglary 13 per cent, theft and robbery 8 per cent each and violence against the person also down 5 per cent.