CRIME in the Thames Valley has risen almost 10% in the space of a year – more than the national average.
Earlier this month, the Office for National Statistics published its report on Crime in England and Wales for the year ending March 2019.
In England and Wales, there has been a 7.7% increase in recorded crime – but the figure is 9.7% for the Thames Valley.
And this figure reflects the increased coverage that The Wokingham Paper has given to a host of criminal activities over the past year, including petty vandalism and violent assaults in Wokingham town centre.
There have also been attacks in Arborfield, Woodley and Earley, among other areas.
And a jewellery theft gang was active at the turn of the year, targeting homes across the borough.
Thames Valley Police’s deputy chief constable Jason Hogg said: “We continue to see rises in some crime categories as victims are having more confidence to report previously hidden crime such as domestic abuse, sexual crime as well as stalking and harassment.
“The reasons for crime recording fluctuations are quite complex and are not necessarily just as a result of an actual increase in crime.
“The increase in overall crime numbers in the Thames Valley is linked to changes in our crime recording processes with our officers and staff now recording crimes at point of contact.
“We know that residential burglary remains a concern for the public in Thames Valley and reducing this crime is a priority for our force. I am pleased that in 2018/19 we have seen a reduction of 7.4% in the number of residential burglaries in Thames Valley against a 3% decrease in England and Wales. The downward trend in Thames Valley has continued in the first quarter of this performance year.
“Due to applying more proactive policing tactics such as increasing the level of stop and search, the use of knife arches, test purchasing, weapons sweeps and other preventative measures we have seen a 23.8% increase in possession of weapons. The impact of this is a reduction of weapons in our communities and in the first quarter of this year we have seen an 8.9% reduction in the level of knife crime when compared to the same period in 2018.
“We are policing in challenging times with increased demand, financial uncertainty and a changing crime landscape. Importantly the Thames Valley remains a safe place to live, work and visit with low crime rates compared to other parts of the UK and figures from the ONS highlights the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime has fallen, as only 1.5 in 10 adults were a victim of crime this year compared to 4 in 10 in 1995.”
Our video below shows the hard work that Thames Valley Police has undertaken in the past year.