Derbyshire police focus on tackling assaults

A specialist police team to tackle serious physical and sexual assaults has been set up in Derbyshire.

Operation Diamond was formed after national reviews recommended dedicated squads to tackle this type of crime, the force said.

The 15-strong team will liaise with victims' charities to provide a better service, it added.

The county saw fewer violent offences last year but there were more sexual offences, in line with a national rise.

Det Ch Insp Sam Slack, who is in charge of the team, said: "We believe that Operation Diamond will allow us to provide a better response to these crimes and give a better service to victims.

"Only a handful of other forces in the UK have dedicated teams such as this and I'm pleased that Derbyshire police have decided to take this step."

There were 472 serious sexual offences reported to police in Derby, South Derbyshire and Erewash in 2010 compared to 432 in 2009.

During the same periods there were 233 serious violent offences reported in 2010 compared to 268.

The latest Home Office figures showed falls in all main categories of crime, except sexual offences which were up by 7%.

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