Stalking, harassment and sexual offences rise by almost a third in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 08:36 27 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:36 27 April 2018

The new Crime Survey for England and Wales figures show crime has risen in Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt.

The new Crime Survey for England and Wales figures show crime has risen in Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt.

Archant © 2012

Stalking, harassment and sexual offences rose by almost a third in Norfolk last year, new crime figures for the region show.

The latest numbers, published by the Office for National Statistics, show that overall crime in Norfolk rose by 14pc from 2016 to last year, and by 19pc in Suffolk.

Across Norfolk, violent crimes increased by 17pc, with violence with injury jumping by 19pc, above the national increase of 11pc.

Thefts from the person rose by 29pc, almost double the national level of 15pc, while “miscellaneous crimes against society” increased by a significant 85pc - much higher than the national average of 28pc and the Suffolk increase of 16pc.

For sexual offences and stalking and harassment crimes, the increase hovered just below a third, at 31pc, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) figures showed.

But the chance of someone living in the region being involved in crime remains low when compared to the rest of the country - the overall crime rate per 100,000 people was 62.4 in Norfolk last year and 69.9 in Suffolk. The national rate is 82.3.

Lorne Green, Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, encouraged people who had been affected by stalking to come forward earlier this month, during a national awareness-raising week.

At the time, he said: “One of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan is supporting and encouraging victims and witnesses to come forward and disclose traditionally under-reported crimes such as stalking.

“With that in mind my office has commissioned the Norfolk and Suffolk Victims Care Service where victims can receive practical and emotional support if they are the victim of, or witness to, crime.”

Looking at the new figures, Andy Lea, head of policing at KPMG UK, said: “The latest figures from the CSEW continue to highlight the challenges being faced by the police service to prioritise its use of resources to meet increasing demand.

“With acquisitive crime like theft, burglary, and robbery on the increase at the same time as rises in complex and violent crime, means that forces are continually re-evaluating how they provide an appropriate service to all victims of crime.”

According to the figures, there were 15,939 incidents of criminal damage and arson recorded by Norfolk police last year, 11,400 vehicle offences and 3,730 shoplifting.

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