THE Dudley borough has been named as the UK’s top area for driving down re-offending rates.

Over the past two years crime has fallen following the increase of West Midlands Police officers whose sole responsibility is to target criminals to prevent them from committing crimes, with similar numbers not seen by the force for more than a decade.

Senior officers are attributing the success to a "cast iron" relationship with charities, probation workers, training providers, who are working together with the police to keep offenders on the straight and narrow.

Deputy Chief Constable Dave Thompson, who visited Brierley Hill Police Station with the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “These latest Ministry of Justice results are really encouraging.

"They really demonstrate how - for the good of local people - West Midlands Police, the probation service and others have formed a cast iron partnership to prevent people from re-offending.

"That said, one crime is one crime too many and we are not complacent. West Midlands Police remain totally focused on protecting communities from harm and we will continue to robustly manage offenders in the area to further drive down crime."

Seven West Midlands boroughs appear in the top 24 results, with the only area coming close to Dudley’s performance is the rural Gwynedd in North Wales.