Police say they are ‘not complacent’ over increase in crime


- Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire police dealt with an extra 85 offences per week last year as crime levels in the county increased by more than nine per cent, according to Government figures.

An Office for National Statistics report showed overall recorded crime in the county went up by about 9.4 per cent in the past year, with 51,638 offences from October

2015 to September 2016, compared to the same period in 2014/15, when 47,191 crimes were recorded.

According to the statistics, there was a 39 per cent increase in public order offences, which went up from 1,759 incidents to 2,452; these include incidents of drunk and disorderly behaviour, rioting and affray.

The force also saw an increase in sexual offences, up from 1,270 in 2014/2015 to 1,396 – a rise of almost 10 per cent.

Chief Constable Alec Wood revealed there had been an increase of 36 per cent from 2015 in child sexual exploitation offences, when 140 incidents were reported.

A police spokesman told The Hunts Post: “Our safeguarding areas, such as domestic abuse, child abuse and child sexual exploitation are seeing an increase in offences which is what we expect to see as we are more focussed on these areas, ensuring people are more confident in coming forward to report offences.”

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While there had also been a rise in thefts from people (14.59 per cent) and violence towards a person, up about 24 per cent, from 9,944 to 12,307 incidents, there was a decrease in the number of drug offences recorded

The figures highlighted that, from October 2015 to September 2016, there was a 17 per cent decrease in drug offences, from 1,944 incidents to 1,605.

Cambridgeshire police and crime commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, said: “The fight against drugs remains a priority as does tackling burglary and supporting those who have been affected by it.

“We have seen a steady increase in the recording of some types of crime over recent years. This is, in the most part, down to stricter crime recording practices. Crimes that would not previously have been recorded are now recorded.

“However, we must not be complacent and I am in regular discussion with the chief constable to identify areas where there is an underlying increase in crime, rather than increase caused by changes in police procedures.”