New figures show rise in recorded crime in Norfolk and Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 15:45 19 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:46 19 July 2018

New figures show a rise in recorded crime in Norfolk and Suffolk.

New figures show a rise in recorded crime in Norfolk and Suffolk.

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Violent attacks, sex offences and burglaries in Norfolk are all on the increase according to the latest figures.

Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that overall crime in Norfolk has risen by 12 per cent in the past year with a total of 56, 235 offences recorded in the year ending March 2018.

Crimes that have seen the biggest rise over the past 12 months in the county include stalking and harassment offences, which have shot up by 38 per cent to 3,2467 crimes and sexual offences which have increased by 26 per cent to 2,174 crimes over the past year.

There have also been rises in:

Violence against the person offences which are up 17 per cent to 18,424

• Violence with injury (Up by 16 per cent to 6,621)

• Violence without injury (Up by 12 per cent to 8, 543)

• Burglary (Up by 10 per cent to 4,012)

• Vehicle offences (Up by 15 per cent to 2, 733)

There has however been reductions in some areas, including theft from person crimes which are down by 4 per cent to 552 offences, bike thefts which have fallen by 2 per cent to 1,423 crimes and shopliftings which are down 6 per cent to 4,403 crimes.

The Norfolk force’s war on drugs, codenamed Operation Gravity, which has been set up to target drug dealers heading to the county from the capital also seems to have had an impact with the total number of drug offences up by just 1 per cent over the past 12 months to 1, 984 crimes.

The figures also show that recorded crime in Suffolk is on the increase with a total number of 53, 116 recorded crimes over the 12 month period - a rise of 15 per cent.

Nationally, overall, crimes recorded by police went up 11 per cent, the figures suggested.

However, the separate Crime Survey for England and Wales, which is based on people’s experiences of crime, suggested there was no change in overall crime levels.

Norfolk’s chief constable Simon Bailey said the latest figures revealed Norfolk to be the 11th safest county in country with the lowest crime rate in eastern region.

He said: “Officers are dealing with more crimes and this, coupled with the increasing complexity of offences and budget savings, means this is a significantly challenging time for the force.

“However, the restructure of the policing model under the Norfolk 2020 project means the organisation is best-placed to tackle this moving forward.

“These figures demonstrate the breadth of demand we are currently facing and underlines the need for a policing model to be flexible to meet this demand.”

Meanwhile Rachel Kearton assistant chief constable for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “These latest figures support our rationale for the proposals announced earlier this week to restructure our local policing model to see more than 100 police officers move into Safer Neighbourhood Teams. The changing nature of crime, its complexity in many cases and its rise in certain areas means Suffolk’s policing model needs to be as flexible, effective and efficient as possible for the communities it serves.

“We need to continue to recognise, and respond to, the demands placed upon our force to ensure we give the county the highest quality of service we can provide.”

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said homicide remained rare and tended to take place in London and other cities.

Caroline Youell, of the ONS, said the latest figures showed a “fairly stable” picture in England and Wales for most crime types.

“It is too early to say if this is a change to the long-term declining trend,” she added.

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