Crime figures reveal large rise in robberies in Ashfield

The number of robberies in Ashfield has more than doubled, according to the latest police recorded crime statistics.

Saturday, 20th October 2018, 9:00 am

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows there were 111 reported robberies between July 2017 and March 2018.

These can include muggings, as well as more serious attacks such as hold ups with guns and knives.

That figure is up 102 per cent on 2016-17, when 55 incidents were recorded.

Police have had to deal with a rising number of robberies in Ashfield

The statistics are based on crimes recorded with the police, and the ONS urges caution in interpreting some of these figures.

Some offences go unreported while others may be more numerous due to a change in the focus of the police or greater public attention.

However statisticians said there appears to be a genuine rise in robberies.

Joe Traynor, from the ONS Centre for crime and justice, said: “Over recent decades, we’ve seen continued falls in overall levels of crime but in the last year the trend has been more stable.

“We saw rises in some types of theft and in some lower-volume but higher-harm types of violence.”

Overall, police recorded crime in Ashfield increased between July 2017 and June 2018.

Over the 12 month period, 10,769 crimes were recorded, up by 16 per cent on 2016-17.

That means there was a rate of 85 crimes per 1,000 residents during 2017-18, above the England and Wales average of 84.

Gun and knife possession offences in Ashfield rose by six to 74 incidents.

There have been two homicides, which are murders or manslaughters. There was one case of death or injury by dangerous driving.

Across England and Wales, the number of recorded homicides rose by 14 per cent, reflecting an “upward trend” since 2014. These figures excluded people who died in terror attacks.

There was a nine per cent increase in offences with knives or sharp objects, leading to the highest number of incidents since March 2011, when comparable records started.

In Ashfield theft, one of the most high volume crimes, slightly decreased by two per cent, while drugs-related offences dropped by 15 per cent.

Chief Constable Bill Skelly, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “Rising crime is placing greater demand on policing, as forces strive to reduce crime as well as respond to a growing terrorist threat.

“There are also more calls from the public for help, including responding to people in crisis when other agencies lack their own capacity.”

Mr Skelly said the gap in numbers between reported crimes and criminals being charged is a ‘real concern for us’.

“The upcoming spending review is a crucial opportunity for the Government and police leaders to come to a consensus about police demand, our capabilities to meet it and the funding required,” he added.

Criminal damage in Ashfield, which includes arson and vandalising cars and houses, has gone up, from 1,368 incidents in 2016-17, to 1,661 in the latest figures.

While violence with injury, which includes assault, GBH and wounding, has risen, this could just be due to improved police recording as opposed to an increase in incidents.

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

In Ashfield there were 368 incidents recorded between July 2017 and June 2018, a 3 per cent rise on the previous year, when 356 crimes were reported.

There were also 798 cases of stalking and harassment reported over the same period.

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation for England and Wales, commented: “It didn’t take a crystal ball to predict these shocking increases because they only reflect what we have been telling the Government for years – we need more boots on the ground.”

Labour described the ONS statistics as “truly shocking” and accused the Tories of “failing in their duty to protect the public and keep our citizens safe”.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: “These figures are a tragic indictment of this Tory Government’s policies.”

Nick Hurd MP Minister for Policing said: “This Government is determined to tackle all types of crime - and although the chance of being a victim remains low, we are taking decisive action in a number of areas.

The Government announced a £200 million Youth Endowment Fund to support “young people at risk of involvement in crime”.

Mr Hurd added: “On top of this, we are consulting on a public health approach to serious violence and giving police extra powers to tackle knife crime through our Offensive Weapons Bill.”