North Herts and South Cambs crime is on the up, according to new figures
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More crime is being committed in North Herts and South Cambs, with the latest figures showing a combined hike of 26.8 per cent in the two districts over the past year.
The Office for National Statistics has published the police-recorded crime data in its latest study, The Crime Survey for England and Wales.
The data provides a measure of long-term trends for a selected range of crimes experienced by the general public.
Crime has risen 20 per cent over the course of the past year in North Herts – with the total number of offences committed in the 12 months ending June 2017 standing at 6,906 compared to 5,747 12 months previously.
Sexual offences rose by 45.3 per cent from 141 in the year up to June 2016 to 205 in the current year.
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Domestic burglaries rose by 30 per cent from 243 to 316 over the same period – and there were 20 less cases of theft from a person, with 115 cases in the 2016 figures and 95 this year, a drop of 17.3 per cent.
There were four fewer drug offences in the 12 months ending June 2017 than in the previous year.
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The most prevalent offence, however, was violence without injury, with 1,098 cases in the current year – an increase of 21 per cent on the previous 12 months.
A Herts police spokesman said of the figures: “We have placed great focus on the under-reporting of crime during the past year, and on encouraging victims to come forward to ensure their longer term safety.
“While Hertfordshire continues to experience relatively low levels of crime, having one of the lowest levels of recorded crime in the country, we do experience local crime hotspots, and we are proactively tackling these problems and pursuing the people responsible.”
Over the border in South Cambs, crime has increased by 34.2 per cent, with 6,887 as the total for the year finishing June 2017 and 5,129 for the previous 12-month period.
Some of the biggest increases saw domestic burglaries in the district increase by 55.7 per cent from 364 in June 2016 to 567 in the latest figures. Sexual offences have risen by 48.5 per cent, with 205 recorded in the 12 months ending June 2017 and 138 for the same period in June 2016.
Instances of theft from the person rose from 22 to 35 – an increase of 59 per cent – and criminal damage and arson increased by 21 per cent to 875 cases.
Drug offences, however, have decreased from 104 in June 2016 to 80 a year on – a drop of 23 per cent.
But as with North Herts, the most common crime was violence without injury, with 824 cases reported in the 12 months ending June 2016 and 1,127 cases reported in the 12 months ending June 2017 – an increase of 36.7 per cent.
A spokesman for the Cambs force said: “These statistics reflect improvements made to the consistency of crime recording procedures. We now record incidents as crimes when previously they might have been classed as anti-social behaviour or simply a suspicious incident.
“We have also worked hard to reassure victims of crimes such as non-recent sexual offences and domestic abuse that they will be taken seriously. This has resulted in more people having the confidence to come forward.
“We are working hard to reduce crime but not focusing on numbers. Our aim is to reduce harm and protect the most vulnerable.”
The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, show that the rise in crime in North Herts and South Cambs is higher than the The national picture where there has been a 13 per cent increase in police recorded crime in England and Wales on average from the previous year.
Over the longer term, the figures show that crime is down from 10 years ago – with 8,775 crimes in the year ending June 2007 – but up from five years ago, when recorded crimes stood at 5,836 for the year ending June 2012.
South Cambs has also seen a reduction compared with 10 years ago, when crime in the same 12-month period stood at 7,000 – but a marked increase from five years ago, when in June 2012 it stood at 4,786.
For a full breakdown of the data go to the ONS website at www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationand community/crimeandjustice