Figures reveal a rise in crime

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Crime across the Northumbria Police Force area has increased for the first time in 18 years, new statistics reveal.

The figures, released by the Home Office, show that there was a rise of one per cent between September 2012 and September 2013.

Reported crime (excluding fraud) stood at 69,935 and the Force has described the climb as marginal.

Sexual offences jumped by 11 per cent to 984, while there was an eight per cent hike in domestic burglaries, climbing to 3,411.

Violent crime was up by four per cent, at 9,547.

Vehicle offences increased by five per cent and theft rose by two per cent to 35,543.

However, drug offences were down by 10 per cent to 4,723, robbery dropped to 443 cases (16 per cent), and theft from the person was down seven per cent.

A statement from Deputy Chief Constable Steve Ashman and police and crime commissioner Vera Baird read: “The figures published are for a 12-month period to the end of September 2013, and are therefore nearly four months old.

“They show that there was a marginal increase in crime of one per cent across the Northumbria Force area.

“This has to be viewed against 18 consecutive years of crime reduction which in the last 10 years has seen a 60 per cent reduction in crime.

“We are continuing to experience rises in some categories of acquisitive crime such as burglary, which clearly is a priority for us, as well as concentrations of shoplifting with evidence of an increase in first time female offenders and there is some growth in low-level violence.

“We have responded in a targeted way and will continue to do so, with confidence.

“Overall we continue to enjoy a lower level of crime per head of population than a significant majority of other areas of the country.

“We have made huge improvements in the way we respond to anti-social behaviour and continue to have the best overall satisfaction rate among the public of any force in the country at 91 per cent.”

The Northumbria Force covers Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and Sunderland. Recently it revealed that 400 jobs could go as part of saving plans.

Crime across the whole of the North East, including Durham and Cleveland, has dropped by one per cent. There was a 10 per cent drop in England and Wales.