Peterborough remains a very safe place to live despite a considerable rise in recorded violent crimes, according to Cambridgeshire police.
The force has also defended the rise in overall offences in Peterborough despite the number of crimes nationally being at their lowest level since the Crime Survey for England and Wales began in 1981.
It is safer now than that it was last year or at any time in the recent past.Dan Vajzovic
New figures show there were 3,189 violent crimes in Peterborough recorded in the 12 months up to December 31, 2014.
This compares to 2,160 which were recorded in the 12 months before that.
The total number of crimes has also jumped in that time from 14,404 to 15,541.
A drop in offences for Peterborough came in the number of burglaries which has gone from 1,580 to 1,498 in the same period.
Reacting to the figures from the Office for National Statistics, chief superintendent Dan Vajzovic, head of Territorial Policing for Cambridgeshire, stated that the actual number of offences was not increasing.
He said: “Cambridgeshire is still a very safe place to live and I believe that despite the headline crime figures it is safer now than that it was last year or at any time in the recent past.
“It will be worrying for people to see crime figures, and in particular violent crime figures, increase. I want to provide the public with some reassurance and context.
“The public and the media have treated crime figures with some scepticism. Recorded crime has been falling year-on-year for two decades and yet people say that their experience and fear of crime does not reflect these statistics.
“Nationally the police have recognised this and there is a big drive to be even more transparent. We now record more things as crimes when previously it might have just been recorded as anti-social behaviour or simply a suspicious incident.
“In Cambridgeshire we have been consistent in our approach – we will work to reduce crime but we won’t focus on numbers. Our aim is to reduce harm and I think we are doing that.
“Looking specifically at violent crime there has been a significant increase in the numbers of offences recorded between 2013 and 2014. There are three main reasons for this.
“Firstly, we are now proactively identifying offences that take place in private places. We are doing more to identify child abuse, domestic abuse and sexual offences and therefore these types of crime are now more likely to be recorded.
“There is little evidence of any actual increase in the number of offences occurring.
“The second reason for the increase is nationally we have seen a significant number of historic allegations of sexual abuse being reported. This is a good thing and shows that people now have the trust and confidence in the wider judicial system and are coming forward.
“The third part of the explanation for why our recorded crime figures have gone up is simply that we changed our recording practices in late 2013.
“At that time central government had a drive for full transparency in crime recording and this was pushed by HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary).
“We had a look at our practices and we found we were under-recording some types of lower level violent offences and we made a push to get this right.
“It does not surprise me that this has resulted in a rise in recorded crime. There is very little evidence of actual offending increasing.”