Crime soars by 37pc in just 3 years
Big rises in robbery, harassment and hate crime Police cuts blamed for surge in offending
CRIME in Hyndburn has risen by 37 per cent in just three years, shocking new figures have revealed. An average of more than 620 crimes per month have been committed over the last year, with police recording sharp rises in violence, domestic abuse and hate crimes. There were also more shoplifting and robbery offences committed.
The figures were revealed in a special report by police to Hyndburn council’s communities and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee. Its chairman Coun Glen Harrison said he was shocked by how much crimes had gone up across the board. The figures have led to calls from both sides of the political divide for more police on the streets.
Conservative group leader Tony Dobson called for further council tax rises to fund more officers.
SHOCKING police figures have revealed crime has been rising across the board in Hyndburn for the past three years.
More than 620 crimes per month have been committed this year, up 14 per cent on last year and 37 per cent higher than the rate in 2014/15.
There have been surges in several categories of crimes with violence, domestic abuse and hate crimes rising sharply, accompanied by spikes in acquisitive crimes, particularly shoplifting and robbery.
The Police and Crime Commissioner says the statistics highlight the increasing demands on officers both in Hyndburn and across Lancashire.
The figures were revealed in a special report by police to Hyndburn council’s communities and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee. The figures were presented by police inspector Steve Rides.
Scrutiny committee chairman Coun Glen Harrison said he was ‘shocked at the magnitude by how much crimes had gone up across the board’ and fears that ‘dire’ cuts to frontline police officer numbers have encouraged criminality to flourish.
Coun Harrison said: “I was shocked at the magnitude by how much it had gone up across the board.
“I anticipated they would be bad because if you are expecting the same service but putting less resources in then it stands to reason that something has got to give. Invariably what has given here is the crime figures have rocketed in Hyndburn. I do believe the police are doing as much as they can do with what they’ve got but they need more.”
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones said austerity and ‘drastic cuts’ in policing were to blame for the rise in crime.
He said: “Family budgets and individuals are under increasing pressure because of austerity. At the same time the number of police has been drastically cut back. You don’t see them on the beat any more and criminals can see this.
“They know there’s less chance of them getting caught and are committing more crimes.” Lancashire County Council voted in February to remove £265,000 part funding towards 17 PCSOs across the county.
And residents across Hyndburn will pay £8 a year more (the rate for band A homes) to the Police Commissioner in 2018/19 as part of measures to raise an extra £5 million for the Constabulary.
Robbery, domestic abuse, harassment, public order and sexual offences (excluding rape) have all seen ‘ exceptionally’ large rises in the last 12 months.
Huge increases have all been seen in offences causing public fear, alarm or distress, public order offences, domestic abuse, and harassment.
Shop owners in Accrington say they have seen a big increase in crime.
Donna Greenwood recently took over Boutique 23 on Warner Street which was burgled in January this year. She said: “There have been five or six places that have been burgled around here recently, but there’s no deterrent. There are no police officers or cars going up and down. It’s very quiet.
“It’s not just happening in shops but there are more incidents in the streets and people are getting robbed in their own houses. It’s terrible.”
Tracey Glegg, who runs Hair & Faces hairdressers on Bank Street, was also burgled earlier this year. She said: “We’ve had various things pinched but that was the first time in 21 years that they have caught someone and jailed them. It cost me £500 to repair the damage but I didn’t want to claim on my insurance because my premiums could double.
“I’ve had more incidents now than a few years ago. There are more people trying [to commit crimes] and you just have to try and secure your premises more. I think people realise there aren’t enough police about. If they are a burglar or a thief then they know they aren’t around to catch them.”
Conservative group leader Coun Tony Dobson called for further council tax increases to fund more police officers. He said: “Obviously it’s disappointing to see the crime figures going up. I think we are probably getting to the stage where we do need as a community to start paying that little bit extra in tax to improve those local services that we are absolutely passionate about or absolutely need.”
in Hyndburn has risen sharply in the three years up to February 2018
Councillor Glen Harrison, chair of Hyndburn council’s communities and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee (left) and Hyndburn police inspector Steve Rides