CRIME in Thurrock has risen sharply according to the latest year-on-year-figures released by Essex police, whose data shows that the number of offences recorded up to November last year was 15,782 – a 10 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.
The largest increase was in crimes labelled “violence against the person”, which shot up by 36 per cent since 2017 to 4,961 offenses. This includes stalking and harassment cases, which nearly doubled from 783 in 2017 to 1,523 in 2018.
Violence resulting in injury went up 10 per cent and violence without injury went up 29 per cent. Other categories such as sexual offences, robbery and criminal damage also increased.
Meanwhile, the total number of crimes solved has decreased by almost four per cent.
Despite what appear damning figures Essex Police appear bullish about them, with a spokesperson describing the increase as ‘slight.’
He aid: “We have seen a slight increase in crime in Thurrock and this in line with the national picture but the latest statistics show some really positive results.
“Anti-social behaviour, theft and high risk domestic abuse have all fallen. In addition, there were 148 fewer burglaries over this same period.
“As part of the policing precept, Thurrock has received 15 new officers. This is a slice of the 150 officers being recruited into Essex Police this year.
“This means we are now seeing more police on our streets tackling violence, protecting the vulnerable, getting justice for victims and being more visible to all our communities.
“Our Operation Raptor teams, which tackle street and drugs gangs, continue to make huge in roads into these groups and the effective use of stop and search powers also sees more drugs and weapons found and removed from the streets.”
The figures were published on the same day that the Crime and Fire Commissioner, Roger Hirst, announced the policing element of Council Tax will go up by £24 a year to pay for the recruitment of another 215 new officers across the county – of those, it has been reported that Thurrock will be getting three – but that has not been confirmed.
The borough has been targeted to get 15 from the current wave of funding raising through increases in this year’s council tax.
Mr Hirst said: “This is an ambitious set of measures to improve policing across our county and get ahead of the increase in crime and disorder that we have seen. Any increase in tax has an impact and I do not take the decision to increase precepts for both police and fire and rescue services lightly.
“However, I have heard the feedback from the public about the improvements we need to make and this money will make a real difference.”
The three new officers will be in addition to £1 million spent by Thurrock Council for an extra five officers and a police sergeant to help tackle anti-social behaviour. Thurrock Council leader Cllr Rob Gledhill says money for that has been ‘set aside’.
Despite the extra recruitment across the county, the force is still more than 400 officers and 400 PCSOs short of the levels in 2010 before cuts began.