Large rise in violent crime and domestic abuse in the city

Knives handed in during an amnesty earlier this year
Knives handed in during an amnesty earlier this year

Violent crime in Peterborough has risen by more than 30 per cent in just 12 months.

The number of violent crimes in the city between October 1 2016 and 31 September 2017 rose by 1,404 - or 30.7 per cent.

The rise was part of a significant increase in ‘victim based crimes’ in the city - which includes violence, sexual offences, theft, and arson.

The number of victim based crimes in the city rose 3,378 to 19,781 - an increase of 20 per cent.

The figures were revealed as part of a report to the Adults and Communities Scrutiny Committee of Peterborough City Council. The committee will meet on November 14 to discuss strategies being implemented to reduce crime.

The report reveals the increase in violent crime is partly down to a 35 per cent rise in domestic abuse. The report said: “In the last year domestic abuse accounted for almost 14% of total victim based crime. Peterborough has notably the highest rates of domestic abuse incidents within Cambridgeshire.”

Theft also increased by 15 per cent, with an increase of 517 shoplifting offences.

Last month The Peterborough Telegraph revealed there had been a 55 per cent rise in the number of crimes involving weapons in Peterborough in the last six months.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said: “We are focused on victim-based crime, ensuring we prioritise those offenders that target the vulnerable, ensuring we safeguard those most at risk. Changes in the National Crime Recording Standards (NCRS) led by central government have meant offences have to be recorded more readily as separate crime reports, as opposed to other processes that were historically used, which will have led to some foreseen increases in crime numbers. This said it is really positive that people feel safer to report offences to the police, regardless of whether these are current or historic in nature.”

The spokesman said the rise was partly due to the way crime was recorded but was not able to say if they believed more crime was taking place compared to when previous measurements were used.

North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara said: “These figures are very concerning, especially as the increases are considerable over a relatively short period of 12 months. We need to urgently look into the reasons for the rise in numbers and then deal with the problem. I will be taking this up with Alec Wood, the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Police.”

City is bottom of the table

The council report said comparisons had been made to Peterborough’s ‘statistical neighbours’ - 15 authorities which are demographically similar to Peterborough and include places like Wellingborough, Swansea, Wakefield, Bury and Darlington. Peterborough ranked 15th recording 98.8 crimes per 1000 population, compared to the group average of 81.4 crimes .

Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya said: “In my opinion this sort of crime has increased owing to cuts to neighbourhood policing and the overall police budget. There’s a difference of method needed between police and community groups. In respect of keeping people safe it needs to be a holistic whole-systems approach which starts from childhood. Prevention is better than a cure.”