Big rise in violent crime and sex offences in Norfolk

Police on patrol in Norwich's Eaton Park. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Police on patrol in Norwich's Eaton Park. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Violent crime and sexual offences have continued to rise in Norfolk as new figures revealed there were an extra 4,500 crimes in the county last year, compared to the year before.

Police vans in Caister. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Police vans in Caister. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Crime in Norfolk has increased by 7.4pc, or an extra 4,577 crimes a year, accorrding to data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

It means there was, on average, 13 more crimes a day between April 1 2019 and March 31 2020 compared to the previous year.

Violent crime in the county is on the increase with injury offences rising by 2.5pc and non-injury offences increasing by 15.9pc, while sexual offences have gone up by 14.5pc over the same period.

There has however been reductions in burglary by 8.7pc, robbery by 14.8pc and vehicle offences by 8.7pc.

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Assistant Chief Constable Nick Davison said: “These latest statistics continue to show rises in violent crime and sexual offences, a trend which is reflected across the country and can be explained by a number of factors.

“Firstly, we have to acknowledge there will be genuine increases in crime, alongside greater confidence in victims to come forward and the continued improvement of recording standards.

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“Secondly, statistics are of course always a useful gauge, however, it is important to consider them in context.

“A large proportion of the violent crime in Norfolk relates to incidents associated with illegal drug activity, involving dealers and users. While this doesn’t make the crime any less serious, I do not believe that people in Norfolk are at a greater risk of violence than they have been in the past.

“It’s fair to say the levels of violence used by those involved in illegal drug activity are disproportionate, often involving the use of knives. This is something we’ve tackled head-on through Operation Gravity, aimed at disrupting and taking down county line drug gangs. I acknowledge there’s been a 12.5% rise in knife crime during this period which equates to 422 offences and a rise of 49 from the previous year.

“In addition to illegal drug activity, another area we see a rise in violence is domestic abuse. Both areas are a priority for the force and we will continue to tackle this criminality and work with partners to support victims.”

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