Rise in violent crime in Ashfield

Violent crime has risen in Ashfield over the last year, amid an increase in recorded crime across England and Wales.

By John Smith
Friday, 24th July 2020, 9:23 pm

However, police are also reporting the crime has fallen in Mansfield during the same period.

And with no official crime statistics yet published for the coronavirus lockdown period, police chiefs say their own figures show overall crime remains far below normal levels.

Nottinghamshire Police recorded 3,999 incidents of violent crime in Ashfield in the 12 months to March, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Incidents of violent crime in Ashfield have risen 11 per cent in the last year

That was an increase of 11 per cent compared to the previous year.

One of the main factors behind the increase in Ashfield was the rise in violence without injury, which rose by 19 per cent, from 1,081 incidents to 1,285.

There was also one homicide, which include murders and manslaughters and 1,277 cases of stalking or harassment, compared to 1,084 the previous year.

Overall, the total number of offences in Ashfield increased by three per cent to 11,545 over the course of the year.

This puts the overall crime rate in Ashfield at 90.8 per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 88.9.

Other crimes recorded in Ashfield included 345 sexual offences, 3,907 theft offences,1,551 incidents of criminal damage and arson, 355 drug offences, 127 offences of possessing weapons such as firearms or knives and 796 public order offences.

In Mansfield, police recorded 11,668 offences in the 12 months to March, according to the ONS – a decrease of three per cent.

But at 107 crimes per 1,000 people, the crime rate for Mansfield was still far higher than the national rate across England and Wales.

Crimes recorded in Mansfield included 386 sexual offences, 4,120 violent offences, 1,424 incidents of criminal damage and arson, 532 drug offences, up 149 offences of possessing weapons such as firearms or knives, 798 public order offences and 3,837 theft offences.

Overall though, force is bucking the national trend with all crime being down over the last year, as the national figures for England and Wales show an increase in crime.

And Nottinghamshire is the only force regionally to see a decrease in crime.

Chief constable Craig Guildford said this was a positive sign that the force continues to make solid progress.

He commented: “The public will be reassured to see this reduction in crime, which is a result of our commitment to the neighbourhood policing model of driving out crime locally and getting behind those who cause communities so much pain.

“We have transformed our approach to how we police our neighbourhoods, which has already seen us recruit 282 more officers into the front line a year ahead of schedule.

"We are well on with recruiting another 300 officers this financial year too.

“This coupled with our unique community policing programme, Operation Reacher, I believe has been the catalyst to seeing this significant drop in crime across the board. It is this bespoke tailored approach to the specific needs and requirements of our communities that is clearly making all the difference and this is borne out in the statistics released today.

“Added to this is the work of our dedicated knife crime, robbery and burglary teams in both the city and county alongside the efforts of officers in the community working closely with the public to engage with them and address concerns.

"We will continue to build on this as we go forward.

“It is also important to note that these statistics represent the picture of crime before the country entered its lockdown period which tells us that these crime trends are due to the hard work we have done and not as a result of us being in lockdown.

“Hate crime reporting has increased but I do not believe that is because there are more offenders – it instead shows the actual confidence our communities have in their police force to deliver results.

"In April we convicted 100 per cent of the cases we brought and overall satisfaction was 84 per cent.”

Overall, police recorded three per cent more crime across England and Wales – there were almost 5.8 million offences in the year to March – although this figure excludes crime recorded by Greater Manchester Police, whose data was compromised after the installation of new IT software.

The increase was largely driven by rises in stalking and harassment and fraud and computer misuse, which both jumped by 12 per cent.

However, the ONS said stalking and harassment figures may have been affected by improvements in the way police record crime, which could explain the large increase.

The ONS also said crime figures were largely unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic, as the period covered was mostly pre-lockdown.

However, the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) says its own provisional figures, which cover the four weeks to July 5, show crime has fallen by 14 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Chief Constable Andy Cooke, NPCC lead for crime, said: “The vast majority of the public continue to follow the rules in place to limit the spread of the virus, and as a result, we have seen sustained reductions in crime over the course of the lockdown period.

"It is no surprise that as more people are able to move around freely, we will begin to see movement towards previous levels.

"However, this is a gradual change.”

Mr Cooke added that previous reductions in reports of rape appeared to be slowing, suggesting they may soon return to 2019 levels.

He continued: “This is likely to be a combination of increased opportunities for wider social contact and easing of restrictions, making it easier for victims to report rape and assault.

“Please report to us if you have been a victim of rape, assault or domestic abuse – wherever or whenever it happened.

"We will do all we can to investigate and there are many excellent organisations who can provide support and advice.”