Cambridgeshire crime spikes but police bid to bolster frontline

PUBLISHED: 20:29 30 January 2018 | UPDATED: 20:29 30 January 2018

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Crime in Cambridgeshire has risen almost a quarter from last year, national statistics have revealed.

In the year to September 2017, the county’s force recorded 64,460 crimes. Over the same period in 2016, there were 51,638 crimes reported.

This bucks the national trend, where crime has generally fallen, although knife crime and gun crime are increasing.

Police and crime commissioner Jason Ablewhite said: “There has been a steady increase in reports of violent crime over time and this is of great concern to me. While it can be partly put down to changes in the way violent crime is recorded, there is no doubt there has been a real increase in certain areas.

“The chief constable has recently undertaken a review of local policing and this will result in an additional 50 warranted officers being recruited. In addition to this, my proposal to increase the council tax by £12 a year will allow a further additional 55 officers to be recruited. These officers will be focussed on targeting this type of serious crime in the areas of highest demand.”

Mark Bangs, crime statistics and analysis, Office for National Statistics, said: “These latest figures indicate that levels of crime have continued to fall compared with the previous year, but this picture varied across different types of crime and not all offence types showed falls.

“While overall levels of violent crime were not increasing, there is evidence of rises having occurred in some of the low incidence but more harmful categories such as knife and gun crime.”

In Cambridgeshire, crime is generally continuing a steady rise across the majority of categories.

By the end of September last year the number of crimes recorded in the county had surpassed the number recorded in 2014.

Drug offences and homicide are both down in Cambridgeshire. In the year to September 2017 there were eight homicides, with nine during the same time the year before.

Drug offences have been in steady decline since a peak at the end of 2011. Up to the end of December 2011 there had been 3,062 drug offences recorded. In the year to September 2017 this number had decreased by half, to 1,512.

Non-domestic burglary has also decreased 7 per cent.

All other crime categories are showing increases from last year. The highest increases are from violence without injury which has increased 43 per cent, with 11,070 reports, and public order offences increased 77 per cent, up to 4,351 reports.

There have been 555 more bicycle thefts reported in the year to September 2017 compared to last year. There have also been 1,265 more domestic burglaries, 105 more robberies reported and 380 more sexual offences reported. Shoplifting has also increased 28 per cent.

Possession of weapon offences has also increased, alongside national figures. The figure has been increasing since 2014 and is at its highest point, with 475 reports.

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