Violent crime and robberies in Peterborough on the rise

Police on Broadway on a Friday night, part of Operation Themis ENGEMN00120130812102116
Police on Broadway on a Friday night, part of Operation Themis ENGEMN00120130812102116
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Violent crime and robberies are on the rise in Peterborough, but the number of burglaries fell, new crime figures have revealed.

Between September 2013 and September 2014, there were nearly 700 more violent offences in the city, nearly 100 more sexual offences and 170 more robberies compared to the year before.

The overall number of crimes also went up by 422, now standing at 15,219.

However, there was some good news as the number of domestic burglaries and drug offences fell during the same period.

The overall crime figure, which is released quarterly, had been decreasing for a number of years until March last year, and North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara said he hoped the latest statistics were just a blip.

He said: “Whilst there is some room for optimism, the decrease in burglaries for example, the overall figure is disappointing.

“I will be taking up the issue with Simon Parr (Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire) and Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright when I next see them.

“I hope this is a temporary blip and one that can be addressed before the next set of figures are published.”

Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson said he was ‘puzzled’ by the rise following many years of the crime rate falling.

He said: “I’m puzzled about these figures which I find troubling. Overall, over the last few years, crime has fallen and we’re much better off than we were say 10 years ago.

“I’ll be meeting senior police in the city to find out why there has been a spike in the recorded crime figures and what is needed to tackle what appears to be an anomaly, but is nevertheless a worrying development.”

But Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright said the reason for the rise was as a result of a focus on quality of crime recording.

He said: “As Police and Crime Commissioner I have made a commitment to keeping people safe and the Constabulary has responded, targeting specific areas of crime.

“This activity, along with a focus on the quality of our crime recording, has led to an increase in reported crime over the last year.

“By listening to victims and responding to people concerns we have seen the public become more confident in reporting crime and these figures reflect this. In spite of the increases Cambridgeshire crime rates remain lower than the national average for all violence against the person and in line with the national average for sexual offences.”

A Cambridgeshire Constabulary spokesman said victims of crime had more confidence in the police force, which encouraged them to come forward.

He said: “The increases have been driven by specific strategic and tactical activity as well as a focus on the quality of our crime recording.

“The Association of Chief Police Officers has also offered reassurance that this is the case.

“We have also seen an increase in the confidence of victims to report crime in the county. This is in part due to communications campaigns alongside national media coverage of the importance of reporting historical sexual offences.”

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