Crime in Cambridgeshire has risen by 3,400 extra offences new statistics reveal.
The figures, published by the Office of National Statistics, show that between June 2017 and June 2018 there was a rise of 3,394 recorded crimes in the county compared to the same period the previous year.
The rise to 65,093 is equivalent to a six per cent increase in the last 12 months. The national average for England and Wales is a 10 per cent rise.
The figures also show there was an 11 per cent rise in violent offending, a 23 per cent rise in stalking and harassment, and 21 per cent more robberies than the previous year. Possession of weapon offences rose by 12 per cent.
There was also a one per cent rise in both burglaries and sexual offending.
However, the number of drug offences recorded in the county fell by 10 per cent.
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said: “While we have seen an increase in overall recorded crime in Cambridgeshire (6%), our increase is lower than the national average (10%).
“Increases in recorded crime mirror the national trend, however for the majority of crime types Cambridgeshire is seeing an increase which is lower than the national average.
“Our focus remains on reducing harm and protecting the most vulnerable in our communities, and prioritising incidents which pose the greatest threat, risk and harm, along with those which stand the best opportunity for successful outcomes whilst filtering out those for which no reasonable lines of investigation exist.”
Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya said police forces needed more financial support to beat the crooks.
She said: “The crime statistics released are deeply concerning, both on a local and national level. While crimes in Cambridgeshire only rose 6 per cent last year compared to 10 per cent nationally, I am concerned that our local police are continually being asked to do more with less. Nationally, the violent crime figures are the highest since comparable records began seven years ago. My party has said before that you cannot keep the public safe on the cheap - and these figures are a damning indictment on the cuts that police forces have suffered under this government.
“However, it is my view that the increases we are seeing are not solely down to cuts to front-line policing, but also stripped-back youth services and community support.
“Why can government not see that If we are serious about combating the rise in crime, particularly when it’s perpetrated by young people, then early intervention and continuous support in the school system is necessary. We cannot continue pursuing efficientcy to the point of ineffectiveness.
“These services can often by the last port of call in stopping young people being exploited by gangs - and ring-fenced funding for these provisions would be beneficial to the entire community”
Cambridgeshire Police and Crime commissioner Jason Ablewhite said residents should be reassured by the figures.
He said: “Although the crime statistics published by the Office for National Statistics today show an increase of 6% in total recorded crime up to June 2018, this is against a national increase of 10%.
“Whilst there are increases in certain crime types, such as violent offending and stalking and harassment, these are in line with national trends. I want to take this opportunity to reassure people that, against a backdrop of increased demand, our police officers continue to work hard to keep communities safe.
“For my own part, and as a response to this, I recently announced enhanced support for victims of stalking and harassment with national stalking charity Suzy Lamplugh Trust and since the summer, all victims of crime now have access to a new independent and confidential website which provides clear and simple information about available support and how to access it: https://www.cambsvictimservices.co.uk/.
“Additionally over the last year, police forces across the country have seen the introduction of Athena, a new ICT system which will ensure the force has an effective and efficient process in place to bring more offenders to justice and improve outcomes for victims. This has meant that some of the data produced since 23rd May not be reliable. However, in the interests of transparency, this data has been provided. As with all new systems, there needs to be a period of embedding.”
“I would like to stress that anyone reporting a crime can have confidence that it will be recorded and rigorously investigated, the issue we have is not with individual records of crimes, but the production of the overall data. The daily management and investigation of crime is not affected. I would ask the public to bear with us while any inaccurate data is corrected.”
More reaction to come...