Sex offence concerns as crime figures rise

Police in South Tyneside recorded more theft offences last year – as crime figures rose overall, according to new figures.

By Patrick Jack
Friday, 29th April 2022, 3:12 pm
South Tyneside crime figures rise.
South Tyneside crime figures rise.

Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures show Northumbria Police recorded 3,083 thefts in the borough during the 12 months to December – an 11% increase on 2020.

They were among 13,707 reported crimes over the year – five per cent up on the previous 12 months.

The theft offence included:

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*525 burglaries, including 385 at homes.

*778 vehicle thefts.

*185 thefts.

*579 shoplifting incidents.

The figures mean the overall crime rate in the borough was 90.7 per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 85.5.

Other crimes recorded in South Tyneside included:

*422 sexual offences, a rise of three per cent.

*5,500 violent offences, a rise of nine per cent.

*1,956 criminal damage and arsons, down four per cent.

*328 drug offences, down seven per cent.

*119 possessions of knives and firearms, up 12%.

*1,814 public order offences, down three per cent.

Around 6.1 million offences were recorded across England and Wales in the year to December – up eight per cent from 5.6 million in 2020.

The number of sex crimes logged by police nationally reached another record high in 2021.

Police forces recorded 183,587 rapes and sexual offences – up 22% on 2020, which was previously the highest annual figure to date.

There was also a rise in domestic-abuse related crime in 2021, and stalking and harassment.

Diana Fawcett, chief executive of the charity Victim Support, said she was "seriously concerned" by the latest figures.

She added: “Sadly, these figures reflect what we’re seeing. The number of sexual violence cases referred to us have increased by a third since before the pandemic.

“We also know that court delays for victims of sexual violence are at an all-time high and this is a very worrying combination."

The ONS said the latest statistics may reflect a number of factors, including the “impact of high-profile incidents, media coverage and campaigns on people’s willingness to report incidents to the police, as well as a potential increase in the number of victims”.

It said the overall number of crimes recorded were lower during lockdowns but that there were “substantial increases" from April 2021.