Increase in Violent Crime and Sex Offences
Thursday 21st April 2016 @ 15:09 by Tom Greggan
Glossop Chronicle News

Violent crime and sex offences rocketed in Derbyshire over the last 12 months.

Figures just released show recorded violence up by 24 per cent and sex attacks by 27 per cent during the corresponding period a year earlier.

Chief Constable Mick Creedon however believes there is a valid reason for the figures and that it’s important not to read too much into them. He also said it reflects an increasing national trend.

Commenting on the increase in sexual offences, Mr Creedon said: “We believe it is testament to our ongoing efforts to encourage victims to come forward and to report their victimisation.

“Again, the reality is that more offending is facilitated through the internet and social media and young people are particularly at risk.

“We have recently seen many successful prosecutions for sexual offences and I think this, and our work with partners, gives victims more assurance that we will treat their allegations seriously.”

Chief Constable Mick Creedon

Chief Constable Mick Creedon

Commenting on the rise in violent crime – from 10,033 to 12,463 – Mr Creedon said that almost 5,000 were ‘violence without injury’.

These include crimes where the victim was not hurt, such as common assault, stalking or making threats, often on social media, or by electronic messaging.

The latest statistics, which reveal the end-of-year figures for the force, show that crime in general increased by 2.6 per cent compared to 2014/15, rising from 51,687 to 53,007.

The police chief explained: “The slight increase in crime is expected to reflect a national trend.

“But it’s important that people realise that since the national crime standards were introduced in 2002/2003 the amount of crime in the county has halved. There were more than 50,000 fewer victims last year than in 2002/03.”

In the last year, house burglaries fell by 3.8 per cent from 2,714 to 2,611 compared to the previous year. Other burglaries also reduced by 15 per cent and theft offences fell by more than seven per cent from 26,749 to 24,855.

Ch Cons Creedon commented: “Recorded crime is what the public come forward and tell us about and is only a part of the crimes we investigate in Derbyshire.

“The statistics properly reflect low level criminal damage and theft of a tiny value, but don’t, for example, include a drunk driver, uninsured, speeding the wrong way down a one way street, talking on a mobile phone – committing numerous offences but none of them are ‘recorded’ in the statistics.

“The figures don’t properly reflect the more complex and hidden offences we deal with either, such as drug trafficking, slavery, child abuse and child grooming and sexual exploitation.”

Mr Creedon said his force was putting more resources into investigating and trying to prevent sex and violence offences.

He added: “This means officers and staff working out of the public eye, particularly in areas such as historical abuse investigations and specialising in cybercrime and digital examinations.”