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Crime increasing in south Norfolk

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Crime has increased year-on-year in South Norfolk, according to the latest police recorded figures.

There were 5,723 reported offences during the 12 months to March 2019, data from the Office for National Statistics shows.

That's up by 9% on the previous year, when 5,264 incidents were recorded.

South Norfolk Police
South Norfolk Police

That means there was a rate of 42 crimes per 1,000 residents during 2018-19, below the England and Wales average of 89.

The statistics are based on crimes reported to the police, and the ONS urges caution in interpreting some of these figures.

Mark Bangs, from the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice, said: "The picture of crime is a complex one.

"For example, overall levels of violence have remained steady but we have seen increases in violent crimes involving knives and sharp instruments.

"We have seen increases in fraud and overall theft, but decreases in burglary following recent rises.”

Possession of weapons offences in South Norfolk rose by six to 41 incidents. These include knives, hand guns and even corrosive acid.

There were 266 residential burglaries reported in 2018-19, down by 18% compared to the previous year.

There have been two homicides, which are murders or manslaughters. There were three cases of death or injury by dangerous driving.

Across England and Wales, the number of recorded homicides rose by 1%, to 701 incidents. These figures excluded people who died in terror attacks.

In South Norfolk, theft, one of the most high volume crimes, slightly decreased by 2%. Drugs related offences slightly rose by 1%.

Commenting on the national figures, Chief Constable Andy Cooke, of the National Police Chiefs' Council, said there were increases in concerning areas, including violent crime involving knives, fraud and theft.

He said: "Greater confidence to report crime and changes to crime recording contribute to some of the increases but many are real rises.

“Additional temporary funding from government has enabled forces to do more to suppress violence by increasing targeted patrols and stop and search.

"Bringing down violence will continue to be a top police priority. Tackling the causes of violence needs a united effort across government and society."

Criminal damage in South Norfolk, which includes arson and vandalising cars and houses, has gone up, from 677 incidents in 2017-18, to 767 in the latest figures.

Violence with injury crimes, which include assault, GBH and wounding, have dropped. Nationally, there has been a 7% increase, however they are tough to judge as police recording in this area has improved.

Similarly sexual offences are hard to judge as many more victims are now coming forward due to a series of high profile cases.

In South Norfolk, there were 265 incidents recorded between April 2018 and March 2019, a 6% decrease on the previous year, when 282 crimes were reported.

There were also 460 cases of stalking and harassment reported over the same period.

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation, commented: "These figures come as no surprise and rightly cause alarm bells.

"For far too long, crime and policing has not been taken seriously enough.

"To make a real impact on our operational performance we need thousands of new officers.

"This should be the priority of the new Government which should be determined to protect the safety and security of everyone in the country."

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