Violent crime rises by 10% year-on-year in Northumberland

Violent crime has risen in Northumberland over the last year, despite an overall drop in recorded offences.

By Federica Bedendo
Friday, 5th November 2021, 12:55 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 12:58 pm
Latest figures suggest violent crime is on the rise in Northumberland.
Latest figures suggest violent crime is on the rise in Northumberland.

Northumbria Police recorded 9,067 incidents of violent crime in Northumberland in the 12 months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was an increase of 10% compared to the previous year.

At 28.0 crimes per 1,000 people, that was lower than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 31.6.

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One of the main factors behind the increase in Northumberland was the rise in stalking and harassment, which rose by 19%, from 2,983 incidents to 3,552.

Offences of violence with injury increased by 8% and violence without injury by 2%, reaching 2,429 and 3,083 respectively.

There were two homicides, which include murders and manslaughters, down by one on the previous 12 months.

Around 5.8 million offences were recorded across England and Wales in the year to June – in line with the previous year – though there was a 3% decrease to 4.9 million offences when excluding fraud and computer misuse.

Nick Stripe, head of crime statistics at the ONS, said the figures showed overall reductions in the reporting and recording of many crime types during periods of lockdown.

However, reports of fraud and hacking continued to rise – something the ONS previously suggested was due to criminals taking advantage of behavioural changes during the pandemic, while many took to online shopping amid lockdowns when there were restrictions on movement.

The total number of offences in Northumberland fell by 2%, with police recording 22,727 crimes over the course of the year.

This puts the overall crime rate at 70.2 per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 81.3.

Other crimes recorded in Northumberland included:

- 856 sexual offences, a rise of 10%

- 4,742 theft offences, down 28%

- 3,423 incidents of criminal damage and arson, up 3%

- 551 drug offences, up 34%

- 163 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, up 4%

- 3,120 public order offences, up 2%

The ONS figures show 61,158 rapes were recorded across England and Wales in the 12 months to June – the highest recorded annual figure to date, and up by 10% from 55,779 the year before.

The second-highest number of sexual offences was also recorded over the period (164,763) – an 8% increase on the previous year.

However, the ONS also urged caution when interpreting the data.

Mr Stripe added: “The rise could be due to an increase in victim reporting as lockdowns eased, an increase in the number of victims, or to an increase in victims’ willingness to report incidents, potentially as a result of high-profile cases and campaigns in recent times.”

Jeffrey DeMarco, assistant director at the charity Victim Support, said: “Much more needs to be done urgently to tackle both these offences and to ensure that those who come forward and report them are able to access justice.”

Also up to June, police in England and Wales recorded the highest number of rapes and the second highest number of sexual offences in a 12-month period.

There were 61,158 rapes recorded, up 10% from the previous period (55,779). This was the highest-ever recorded annual figure to date, and included 17,285 offences between April and June – also the highest quarterly figure.