Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Summer of Violence

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Summer of Violence

Article excerpt

Byline: By Daniel Cochlin

This summer saw an alarming rise in violent crime across the North-East, new figures revealed last night.

Northumbria Police saw a 10% increase in murders, muggings and other violent attacks, while Durham was even higher ( recording a violent crime increase of 13.9% for the period from April to June this year.

Officers in Durham last night blamed much of the increase on the football World Cup in Germany this summer, and specifically the aftermath of England's first match against Paraguay on Saturday June 10.

After the game, police were called out to almost 1,000 incidents, with flashpoints in a number of the county's towns and a major disturbance in Darlington, where officers had to call in reinforcements from Cleveland Police.

But Northumbria's Chief Constable, Mike Craik, said the rise was down to a series of high-profile crackdowns on trouble-makers in his force area, and he was happy if the figures rose if the campaigns proved a success. Durham has seen a significant rise in crime overall, with 13,688 offences recorded in the three-month period compared to 12,810 in the same period last year ( a rise of 6.9% ( while theft from vehicles rose 27.2%, criminal damage against buildings by 15.6% and house burglaries by 7.8%.

Northumbria also saw an increase in house burglary, by 4% from 1,550 to 1,608, as well as the increase in violent crime from 6,323 to 6,974, but other major offences ( including vehicle crime and criminal damage ( fell. Violent crime fell in the Cleveland and Cumbria force areas.

Mr Craik, who has introduced a number of initiatives to curb anti-social behaviour including The Party's Over and Don't Spoil the Party, said a rise in figures showed the success of the campaigns and were a "small price to pay".

He added: "Violent crime receives particular police attention as indicated by the overall detection rate of 58%. …

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