Surrey Police publish the county’s latest crime statistics
Surrey Police has published the county’s end-of-year crime statistics for 2017-2018 which indicate that police activity to tackle the rise in recorded crime is beginning to make a difference.
Recorded crime has increased by 14% compared to the previous 12 months, showing that the rate that recorded crime has been increasing is beginning to slow, down from the 20% increase seen at the six month mark (October 2017).
As previously reported there is a national increase in crime and Surrey is part of this national trend. However, Surrey is still one of the safest counties in the country and despite the rise our crime rates are still lower than most other counties.
Key areas contributing to the increase are:
- increases in non-recent offences including sexual abuse
- increase in crime marked as relating to domestic abuse
- tighter rules about crime data recording
- and a broader increase in crime in general
Not all increases in crime are bad news:
In some instances, it is encouraging to see a rise in reporting, particularly in crime areas that have been significantly under-reported in the past, for example hate crime, domestic abuse and non-recent sexual abuse. We’ve worked hard to increase the public’s trust and confidence in us and we are now seeing greater willingness to report these types of crime as a result.
Whilst other crimes are areas we’ve been targeting with significant operational activity.
A significant contributory factor to the increase in crime in Surrey is the 16.6% increase (4,053 additional crimes) in recorded violent crime. The classification of violent crime includes a whole range of incidents, from low level verbal abuse to grievous bodily harm. Of the 28,526 violent crimes recorded, 74.9% are ‘without injury’, such as verbal abuse.
7,291 of the violent crimes are domestic abuse (DA) incidents, which is why the Force has committed to training over 90 per cent of first responders in the College of Policing accredited DA Matters training, up-skilled nearly 90 DA Matters Mentors and accredited frontline officers and staff in domestic abuse specific risk assessments. There is also an ongoing pilot, where an outreach advocate is embedded into a Safeguarding Investigation Unit to offer on the job advice and engagement. In January 2018 the team succeeded in getting an 18 month prison sentence against an offender for controlling and coercive behaviour - the first force in the country to achieve this without a victim statement.
Possession of weapons has shown an increase of 29.7% (+127 offences). This is associated with the increased use of proactive stop and search powers leading to the seizure of knives. Over the previous year stop and search across the county has increased by 18% (+12 searches) with an increasing number of stops resulting in action being taken (up 3% to 26.9% in 2017/18), leading to a subsequent increase in offences being recorded. An additional 11.9 offences are recorded each month for every 100 stops completed across the county.
Importantly we haven’t recorded the same increase in the number of offences where a knife was used (16.3%, +8 offences). Surrey Police has taken part in two knife amnesties within the last year, which led to 130 weapons being handed in across the county.
In June 2017 we saw that for the first time in ten years burglaries in Surrey started to increase, having been reducing until this point. The past year has shown an 8.4% increase (+499 with 6,472) compared with the previous year.
While this statistic is the fourth lowest in the past 10 years and 1,914 fewer compared with a high of 8,386 in the financial year of 2010/11, we have no intention of creeping back to the position we were in and have introduced a number of tactics.
Speaking about the increases, DCC Gavin Stephens said, “We started a number of proactive burglary initiatives in 2017 to address the increase through a variety of means including building our intelligence picture of problem offenders and focussing our Serious and Organised Crime Unit on identified criminal gangs. This has led to a 32.9% (103) improvement in the volume of positive outcomes for burglaries.
“We are also involved in a programme of ‘property marking’ with industry leaders Selecta DNA, marking property and valuables in homes to act as a deterrent, evidentially connect criminals to stolen goods and help reunite property should the worst happen. We continue to focus this activity in areas that have been repeatedly targeted over a period of time.
“Following the implementation of this activity, the volume of burglaries has dropped to expected levels – showing our response is turning the tide.”
For those not in a burglary ‘hotspot’ area, we have secured a 50% discount for those wishing to purchase a SelectaDNA kit – simply visit www.selectadna.co.uk and use the discount code ‘DNASURREY50’ to order a kit for just £29.75.