Crime has fallen over the last year in Dacorum
The crime rate per 1,000 people is lower than the rate across England and Wales
Crime has fallen over the last year in Dacorum, official police records reveal.
Hertfordshire Police recorded 9,611 offences in Dacorum in the 12 months to September, according to the Office for National Statistics.
That was a decrease of 15% compared to the previous year, when there were 11,307.
At 62 crimes per 1,000 people, that was far lower than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 83.
Crimes recorded in Dacorum included:
- 267 sexual offences, a decrease of 22%
- 3,332 violent offences, up 2%
- 960 incidents of criminal damage and arson, down 20%
- 355 drug offences, up 10%
- 82 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, up 11%
- 646 public order offences, down 16%
- 3,598 theft offences, down 26%.
Dacorum Chief Inspector Craig Flint said: “It remains a challenging time for policing but despite the third lockdown, my teams continue to proactively target those who choose to commit crime in Dacorum and this will not falter as restrictions begin to lift.
“The figures show that compared to the national picture the number of crimes per 1,000 people in Dacorum is 62, which sits well below the national average of 88.
"We have also seen a reduction in residential burglaries, vehicle crime, sexual offences, theft, criminal damage, arson and public order offences.
“The rise we have seen in drugs and weapons offences can be largely attributed to an increase in proactive arrests and operations conducted on the frontline, where we continue working to keep our communities safe from violent crime."
Overall, police recorded 6% fewer crimes across England and Wales – there were around 5.7 million offences in the year to September.
The ONS said this was driven by substantial falls in the three months to June, particularly in theft offences.
But separate figures from its Crime Survey for England and Wales show the estimated number of victims of crime in the three months to September were similar to levels seen in the run-up to the pandemic.
Helen Ross, from the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice, said: “The coronavirus pandemic and related lockdown restrictions have resulted in fluctuations in the level of crime experienced in England and Wales.
“Data from the survey showed decreases in crime at the start of the pandemic, with rises seen over the summer months, specifically in theft, following the easing of lockdown measures, with overall crime now back at pre-lockdown levels of January to March 2020.
“There were also fluctuations in police recorded crime, but total recorded offences for July to September 2020 were below that seen in the same period in 2019.”
The ONS said an annual 3% drop in recorded knife crime across England and Wales was largely down to a 22% decrease in April to June. However, this was followed by a sharp increase in the three months to September.
Children’s charity Barnardo’s warned that offences could “erupt” once the latest lockdown is eased.
Chief executive Javed Khan said: “Children and young people have spent months out of school and away from their support networks, leaving many vulnerable to exploitation and control by criminal gangs who have seized on the disruption.
“With rising unemployment and poor job prospects, some young people are finding it hard to believe in a positive future, and see no alternative but to turn to a dangerous way of making money, carrying knives to protect themselves.”
Chief Inspector Craig Flint added: “The pandemic has also had a profound effect on our children and young people, often leaving them more vulnerable to becoming victims of crime or getting involved in anti-social behaviour.
"We work closely with our colleagues in specialised safeguarding units as well as our partners to ensure we are there for those children who need us.
"We will not rest on our mission to make this borough a safer place for our children and young people.”