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Diss crime data highlights worrying trend and interesting shifts reported crime through lockdown

The last 12 months has been anything but normal for Diss and the surrounding area – and the crime figures back that up.

With complete data sets now published for the last three years, the Diss Express has been able to take a closer look at how the town – and the surrounding area covered by Norfolk Police – has been affected in terms of reported crimes.

Within an area covering Bressingham in the west to Needham in the east, and extending north from Diss as far as Bunwell, the average number of crimes reported each month has risen noticeably in the last year.

Crime Data.
Crime Data.

Reported crimes increased from 98.1 between April 2019 and March 2020, to 109.6 between April 2020 and March 2021.

Certain crimes, such as anti-social behaviour, which are traditionally more frequent during the summer months, saw a spike in April 2020, shortly after the first lockdown was imposed.

These crimes then slowly diminished before seeing a second, smaller spike in November of the same year, when further restrictions were imposed again.

While this type of crime has now receded, with just 15 reports in March of this year, compared to 35 in April 2020, figures covering violence and sexual offences show a more concerning pattern.

The average number of reports of violence or sexual offences rose to 48.8 per month across the last year, compared to 36.75 in the previous twelve-month period.

The first phase in easing restrictions in the UK has had no effect on the figures, with 62 offences reported in March of this year, having hit a high watermark of 64 in June. The average across the last four months is 53.25.

The numbers coincide with widespread reports of an increase in domestic abuse as a result of the various lockdowns.

With victims being unable to escape their homes, or raise the alarm when an abuser was present, some domestic abuse charities believe many more incidents may have gone unreported – a point picked up on by bosses in the neighbouring Suffolk Police force.

Speaking at the end of last year, Tim Passmore, who is seeking re-election as Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner in this week’s elections, said: “The unprecedented times we are all living through has made life even more intolerable for many victims of domestic abuse but I do want to stress that help is still available. Providing support for victims is a key part of my role.”

Anyone seeking help should call police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

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