Recorded crime in Chesterfield has increased by 17 per cent in a year according to new figures

Recorded crime increase in Chesterfield is due to improvements in recording say police.

Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 11:23 am

Crime has increased year-on-year in Chesterfield, according to the latest police recorded figures.

There were 6,685 reported offences during the 12 months to March 2019, data from the Office for National Statistics shows.

That’s up by 17 per cent on the previous year, when 5,699 incidents were recorded.

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But Derbyshire Constabulary say the increase is down to improvements in recording crime.

There was a rate of 64 crimes per 1,000 residents during 2018-19, which is below the England and Wales average of 89.

The statistics are based on crimes reported to the police, and the ONS urges caution in interpreting some of the figures.

Derbyshire Constabulary Asst Chief Constable Kem Mehmet said: “Derbyshire Constabulary is committed to providing a quality service to victims of crime; putting victims at the heart of our service and preventing harm, especially to the most vulnerable.

“Pivotal to this is improving the quality and completeness of recorded crime, in line with the National Crime Recording Standards, Home Office Counting Rules and the Code of Ethics. This is to ensure that victims receive appropriate support, safeguarding and resolution.

“Following the publication of the HMICFRS Crime Data Integrity inspection report, Derbyshire have put in place an extensive programme of activity to drive these improvements in recording. “As a result of this activity, Derbyshire have recorded significant increases in crime, in particular Violence Against the Person, Public Order and Sexual Offences, since March 2019.”

Mark Bangs, from the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice, said: “The picture of crime is a complex one.

“For example, overall levels of violence have remained steady but we have seen increases in violent crimes involving knives and sharp instruments.

“We have seen increases in fraud and overall theft, but decreases in burglary following recent rises.”

Despite rising nationally, possession of weapons offences have stayed the same in Chesterfield, with 69 incidents. These include knives, hand guns and even corrosive acid.

There were 417 residential burglaries reported in 2018-19, up by 8 per cent compared to the previous year.

There have been no homicides, which are murders or manslaughters.

Across England and Wales, the number of recorded homicides rose by 1 per cent , to 701 incidents. These figures excluded people who died in terror attacks.

In Chesterfield, theft, one of the most high volume crimes, increased by seven per cent . Drugs related offences slightly dropped by two per cent .

Commenting on the national figures, Chief Constable Andy Cooke, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said there were increases in concerning areas, including violent crime involving knives, fraud and theft.

He said: “Greater confidence to report crime and changes to crime recording contribute to some of the increases but many are real rises.

“Additional temporary funding from Government has enabled forces to do more to suppress violence by increasing targeted patrols and stop and search.

“Bringing down violence will continue to be a top police priority. Tackling the causes of violence needs a united effort across government and society.”

Criminal damage in Chesterfield, which includes arson and vandalising cars and houses, has gone up, from 872 incidents in 2017-18, to 925 in the latest figures.

While violence with injury, which includes assault, GBH and wounding, has risen, this could be due to improved police recording.

Similarly sexual offences are hard to judge as many more victims are now coming forward due to a series of high profile cases.

In Chesterfield, there were 206 incidents recorded between April 2018 and March 2019, an 18 per cent rise on the previous year, when 174 crimes were reported.

There were also 327 cases of stalking and harassment reported over the same period.

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation, said: “These figures come as no surprise and rightly cause alarm bells.

“For far too long, crime and policing has not been taken seriously enough.

“To make a real impact on our operational performance we need thousands of new officers.

“This should be the priority of the new Government which should be determined to protect the safety and security of everyone in the country.”