POLICE have moved to reassure Oxford residents they are now less likely to become a victim of robbery following a recent spike in the crime against businesses.

The Oxford Mail reported last month there were 17 business robberies in the city between April 1 last year and January 31 – up 89 per cent on the nine in the same period during the previous year.

But Thames Valley Police said robberies in the city overall have fallen as personal robberies dropped from 126 to 102 between April 1 last year and Tuesday compared with the year before.

Superintendent Christian Bunt, local police area commander, said that police had made nine arrests and charged six suspects with business robberies.

He said: “We understand the effect of violence on victims, witnesses and the wider community and as such have worked hard to reduce offending and deal robustly with suspects.

“We have seen an overall drop in robberies over the year since April 2013 and have a dedicated team of officers who continue to work hard to further reduce these offences from taking place, but also catch the offenders if they do so.”

He added: “We work closely with local businesses to provide crime prevention advice.

“This is particularly the case for premises that have been victims to try and ensure they are not targeted again.

“I have a crime reduction officer who is able to meet with people from any commercial premises that would like some support and advice.”