Crime is on the rise but knife offences in Norfolk are falling

Latest crime figures show crime is on the rise but knife crime is falling. PIC: Ian Burt

Latest crime figures show crime is on the rise but knife crime is falling. PIC: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant © 2005

Recorded crime in Norfolk has risen by almost 9pc in the past year but the force's blitz on drug dealers has led to one of the biggest falls in knife offences in the country.

Statistics released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the year ending June 2018 show that crime in the county has increased by 8.8pc, or 4,598 more offences a year.

But the figures, which are below the national average of 10.3pc, show that while knife crime has risen by 47pc in Norfolk since 2010, the past year has seen a drop of around a third.

In fact Norfolk and Suffolk have seen the biggest falls in knife crime in the country over the last 12 months with the forces first and third of all constabularies respectively.

The figures show that there were 335 offences involving a knife in the year ending June 2017 compared to 230 in the year ending June 2018, a 31pc fall.

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Meanwhile in Suffolk there has been a fall of 39pc from 261 offences in the year ending June 2017 compared to 158 in the year ending June 2018.

Nationally there has been a 28pc rise since 2010, and a 14pc rise in the last year.

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Paul Sanford, Norfolk's assistant chief constable, said: 'We know that the drug related criminality that the force has been targeting through Operation Gravity is often associated with the use of knives.

'After nearly two years of enforcement we hope that we are deterring knife offences from occurring and making people think twice before carrying weapons.'

In terms of other figures, in Norfolk there have been increases in robbery offences, up 10.7pc from 401 to 444, violence against the person offences, up 16.8pc from 16,303 to 19,048, sexual offences, up 17pc from 2,065 to 2,417, and stalking and harassment offences which are 35.9pc up from 3,452 to 2,541.

However there have been falls in homicides, down 54.5pc from 11 to five, shoplifting offences, down 9.9pc from 4,747 to 4,277, and criminal damage and arson, down by 1.3pc from 7,316 to 7,224.

Mr Sanford added that following rising crime levels in recent years, partly due to improved recording standards, it appears the increase is now stabilising.

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