Drug offending and shoplifting increasing in Peterborough - but city sees fall in burglaries

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Figures show exactly the same number of crimes recorded in city in 2023 as in 2022

The number of drug offences in Peterborough has risen by 13 per cent in the past year – as police have urged residents to play their part in bringing dealers to justice.

Figures recently released by the Office for National Statistics showed there had been a 13 per cent rise in drug offending in the city in 2023, compared to 2022.

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There was also a substantial rise in shoplifting, with a 22 per cent increase, and possession of weapon offences, with a 21 per cent rise.

The number of drug offences recorded in Peterborough has risenThe number of drug offences recorded in Peterborough has risen
The number of drug offences recorded in Peterborough has risen

Remarkably, overall, the number of crimes recorded in 2023 was identical to 2022, with 23,842 offences in both years.

There was also good news, with the number of sexual offences falling by 10 per cent, and burglaries falling by 13 per cent.

“We are committed to tackling drug dealing, serious and organised crime in Cambridgeshire"

Detective Chief Inspector Chris O’Brien, from Cambridgeshire Police, said the force had recently seen a number of success stories when it came to dealing with drug issues – but urged residents to get in touch to report concerns.

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DCI O’Brien said: “Our recent work such as Operation Hypernova 2 highlights our commitment to tackling drug dealing and associated crime, such as exploitation and anti-social behaviour.

“The operation saw sixty people arrested and 51 county lines dismantled as part of a crackdown on illegal drugs and exploitation across Cambridgeshire.

“We are committed to tackling drug dealing, serious and organised crime in Cambridgeshire, which can bring misery to communities, and regularly bring offenders to justice for their roles in doing so.

“However, we can’t do this alone. We need the public, their intelligence and their concerns reported to us to continue to make our communities and indeed the county a hostile place against drug dealing.

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“If you suspect drug dealing is taking place in your area or see anything suspicious or out of place, please tell us. You don’t have to be certain, just concerned. Report online or call police on 101. Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers to report anonymously online or by calling 0800 555111.”

The force has also been working to tackle shoplifting and other crimes in the city centre, with a new officer, PC Jay Cullimore, employed specifically to deal with issues in the Business Improvement District.

Shoplifting ‘key issue’ in Peterborough

Chief Inspector Oliver Warsop said: “We’re aware shoplifting can have a huge impact on those involved in the business community as well as local residents, and this is one of the reasons why it is a key issue for officers across Peterborough.

“We saw the introduction of an additional police officer at the end of 2023, who was appointed specifically to support local businesses.

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“Funded by Peterborough’s Business Improvement District (BID) members, which is made up of more than 400 businesses and organisations across the city centre, the position is an additional role within neighbourhood policing in Peterborough.

“This post enhances the work of this team, increasing visibility in the city centre area, working with the BID, partners and retailers to look at longer term problem solving to address a range of issues such as retail theft and antisocial behaviour.”

The statistics are available at https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/recordedcrimedatabycommunitysafetypartnershiparea