Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tyneside Hit by Nation's Sharpest Crime Increase

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tyneside Hit by Nation's Sharpest Crime Increase

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Doughty Crime Reporter sophie.doughty@ncjmedia.co.uk @Sophie_Doughty

CRIME is rising across Tyneside with violent offences up by more than 50 per cent.

Figures released yesterday suggest the streets of Tyne and Wear and Northumberland are not as safe as they were a year ago following a sharp increase in recorded crime.

Northumbria Police saw overall crime rise by a third (33%) over 12 months - the sharpest increase anywhere in England and Wales.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures reveal 124,240 crimes were recorded by Northumbria Police in 2016/17, with one offence reported every four minutes.

Violent crimes saw one of the biggest increases in the area, rising by 51% to 32,941 recorded incidents.

Meanwhile, the number of sexual offences also rose by 26%, with 3,487 recorded over the year.

But theft remained Northumbria's most common crime, with more than 47,000 offences recorded by police in the last year, which is one theft for every 31 people in the force area.

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said the increase could largely be put down to better recording of crimes.

But ONS number crunchers said they believe there has been an actual increase.

The police spokeswoman said: "The increase in recorded crime outlined in these figures continues, in the main, to result from the improvements we have made in the way we assess and record crime, together with the increasing confidence of victims and witnesses to report crimes to us.

"In reality the number of calls we are receiving that are crime-related has fallen significantly and this provides additional reassurance that the increase in recorded crime does not indicate a marked increase in the level or nature of offending.

"Northumbria Police are dedicated to providing a high quality service to all victims of crime, in particular those vulnerable members of our communities. …

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