Here's how many crimes were recorded in Dacorum last year

Crime has fallen in Dacorum, official figures show

Monday, 17th May 2021, 4:02 pm
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 4:04 pm

Crime has fallen over the last year in Dacorum, official police records reveal.

Hertfordshire Constabulary recorded 9,330 offences in Dacorum in the 12 months to December, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was a decrease of 14 per cent compared to the previous year, when there were 10,904.

Police stock image

But, figures show there was an increase in drug offences and possession of weapons.

At 60 crimes per 1,000 people, that was far lower than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 81.

Crimes recorded in Dacorum included:

- 260 sexual offences, a decrease of 20 per cent

- 3,265 violent offences, up one per cent

- 954 incidents of criminal damage and arson, down 16 per cent

- 359 drug offences, up nine per cent

- 80 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, up 13 per cent

- 644 public order offences, down 12 per cent

- 3,436 theft offences, down 25 per cent.

Dacorum Chief Inspector Craig Flint said: “It is pleasing to see such a decrease in crime and that is testament to the hard work of my officers.

"Despite the challenges of the pandemic, my teams have been proactively targeting criminals and running operations that have seen significant arrests.

"The figures show 60 crimes per 1,000 people in Dacorum which is much lower than the national rate of 81 crimes per 1,000 people.

"I hope this news is reassuring to residents and I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that we are always keen to hear your feedback."

You can have your say about local policing by using Herts Police's community voice platform, echo.

Overall, police recorded eight per cent fewer crimes across England and Wales – there were around 5.6 million offences in the year to December.

The ONS said the annual drop was mainly driven by a “substantial fall” in crime of 15 per cent between April and June as the first lockdown restrictions were introduced.

While police-recorded crimes increased from July to September as restrictions were gradually eased, they fell again in the last three months of the year as lockdown measures were reintroduced, it added.

Sophie Sanders, of the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice, said: “There were fluctuations in the level of crime experienced in England and Wales throughout 2020.

“Although a small proportion of these fluctuations will be the result of seasonal effects on crime trends, the majority can be attributed to the introduction and subsequent easing of national lockdown restrictions throughout the year.

“Most crime types have seen recorded offences fall year-on-year. The notable exceptions are drug offences, because of proactive police activity in crime hotspots during the first lockdown, while violence against the person also saw a small increase.”

Crest Advisory, a criminal justice consultancy, said it is not surprising that crime patterns were "hugely affected" by the unprecedented restrictions of the pandemic.

But it noted that drug offences across England and Wales rose by 15 per cent and there was a seven per cent increase in the number of domestic abuse-related offences recorded by police in 2020.

Danny Shaw, head of strategy and insight at the organisation, added: "The rise in drugs offences was principally due to greater police activity in tackling dealers and organised crime gangs, who were also easier to spot with fewer people out on the street.

"The increase in reports of domestic abuse may well be linked to lockdown, when people in abusive relationships were forced to spend long periods together."