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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Talks held on rise of violent crime in Cumbria

Cumbria's crime commissioner says he’s taken up a worrying rise in violent crime with the chief constable.

Richard Rhodes photo
Richard Rhodes

Richard Rhodes has held talks with Bernard Lawson on the back of figures showing that crime in the county is rising – and offences of violence fastest of all.

Data from 28 police forces in England and Wales shows that crime, excluding fraud, fell by one per cent in the year to March.

But in Cumbria the number of offences climbed by five per cent to 23,998.

Violence against the person was up 18 per cent, robberies soared 31 per cent and sexual offences jumped by 20 per cent. Burglaries were up seven per cent and shoplifting by 13 per cent.

However, vehicle offences plunged by 21 per cent and bicycle thefts dropped 18 per cent.

Reports of criminal damage and arson fell by one per cent.

Mr Rhodes said: “The rise in violence against the person has been a worry and I have had a serious conversation with the chief constable about that.

“The overall increase of five per cent was due to a spike in offences in June and July – the rest of the year was much the same as the year before.

“We think that spike was due to good weather, which brought more visitors and meant more people were outside.”

Cumbria remains relatively law-abiding, despite the overall increase.

There were 48 offences per 1,000 people, one of the lowest crime rates in the country.

The police figures have been published by the Office for National Statistics alongside the annual Crime Survey for England & Wales, based on interviews with 10,000 people about their experience of crime.

This paints a rosier picture, suggesting that crime fell by 14 per cent to its lowest level since 1981.

Cumbria’s 20 per cent increase in sexual offences is in line with the national trend.

The rise is attributed to the Operation Yewtree investigation and to child abuse victims coming forward in the wake of the Jimmy Savile revelations.

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