Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

CRIMES UP ACROSS TEESSIDE; but Figures Also Show 'Best Ever Start to Year'

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

CRIMES UP ACROSS TEESSIDE; but Figures Also Show 'Best Ever Start to Year'

Article excerpt

Byline: NAOMI CORRIGAN

RESIDENTS have been urged to do their bit in the fight against crime in the wake of figures showing an increase in offending.

Cleveland Police's Middlesbrough district saw a 0.5% hike in reported crime over 2011/12 compared with the year before - equating to 84 more crimes.

But the annual figures prompted Detective Chief Inspector Alastair Simpson to note a 15.5% reduction in crime in the first three months of the year compared with the same period a year earlier.

"We have just had best start to a calendar year ever," he said, adding it could be taken further with the help of residents.

Around 30% of burglaries in the town occur when householders have left doors and windows unlocked and many thefts from vehicles involve valuable property left on display in the vehicle.

"People have confidence in the police and this has increased in the past year - 83.8% of people in Middlesbrough had confidence in the police and 70% thought the police were doing a good or excellent job.

"We are proud of the hard work and professionalism displayed by our officers over the past year - these results are testament to the officers that work every day on the frontline of policing.

Det Ch Insp Simpson added that the coming year will see a renewed focus on protecting the most vulnerable victims of crime and tackling anti-social behaviour this year.

Stockton saw the largest increase in crime of the districts - 7.7% over the year and 12.1% in the last three months.

And district commander Superintendent Darren Best echoed the views of Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Roberts. He has previously explained that figures showing a 1.2% increase in crime across the whole force area were affected by data being measured against unprecedented low levels of crime at the end of 2010.

"If you look at the number of crimes committed per 1,000 people, Stockton is still the lowest of all the districts," said Supt Best. "This year's figures still represent the second lowest crime level ever recorded in Stockton and we have seen some massive reductions over the last three years. …

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