Gun crime and rape on the rise

But po­lice claim of­fences in cap­i­tal are at their low­est ‘in decades’

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­

KNIFE crime, gun crime and rape is on the rise in Lon­don, de­spite a po­lice claim that over­all crime lev­els are at their low­est ‘in decades’.

Fig­ures re­veal there were 46 more knife crime of­fences, 77 more knife in­juries and three more gun crimes in April to March 2015/16 com­pared with April to March 2014/15.

Vi­o­lent crime in the cap­i­tal is up by 5.4 per cent with more than 3,700 of­fences in the past fi­nan­cial year, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Metropoli­tan Po­lice Ser­vice statis­tics, re­leased on Fri­day April 15.

There were a to­tal of 109 mur­ders in 2015/16 – six more than the pre­vi­ous year – but the num­ber is still lower than a spike in 2003 to 2004 when there were 211 cases.

The to­tal num­ber of all recorded sex­ual of­fences in­creased by 9.3 per cent on last year, with rape of­fences up by 8.85 and other se­ri­ous sex­ual of­fences up by 9.5.

The pos­i­tive ef­fect of Op­er­a­tion Yewtree has also been a ma­jor fac­tor in in­creased con­fi­dence of vic­tims to come for­ward.

Do­mes­tic abuse rose by 10.6 per cent and racist and re­li­gious hate crime in­creased by 17.9.

The Met be­lieves th­ese in­creases are down fac­tors such as im­prove­ments in crime record­ing, will­ing­ness of vic­tims to re­port hate crime, world events, im­proved aware­ness of Met staff to iden­tify th­ese of­fences and sup­port pro­vided by more than 900 spe­cial­ist hate crime in­ves­ti­ga­tors and its work with part­ners to sup­port vic­tims.

Po­lice give the rea­son for the in­crease in vi­o­lence against the per­son as ‘a more ac­cu­rate record­ing of in­di­vid­ual of­fences’.

As­sis­tant Po­lice Com­mis­sioner He­len King said: “Lon­don is a ma­jor, much vis­ited, vi­brant and grow­ing cap­i­tal city with di­verse polic­ing needs and is one of the safest global cities in the world.

“It is for this rea­son that peo­ple from other coun­tries in­vest mil­lions of pounds in Lon­don.

“There are not many cap­i­tal cities in the world with such low rates of se­ri­ous crime, such as mur­der and gun crime.

“The Met is con­tin­u­ing to work with part­ners, busi­nesses and the pub­lic to re­duce the num­ber of of­fences tak­ing place.

“We will con­tinue to keep up our in­ten­si­fied fo­cus on ar­eas such as vi­o­lence where we have seen a rise in recorded of­fences.

“We must not lose sight of the re­duc­tions we have achieved over the past five years.”

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