Sussex continues to be a safe place to live, where the risk of crime remains amongst the lowest in the country
The Office for National Statistic's figures released today show a decline in theft and burglary in Sussex, and an overall rise in all crime of 1% which is well below the national average increase of 7%.
Commenting on the latest figures, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “Whilst the ONS figures show some increases the majority are below the national average and comparable to other forces. I am pleased to see a 6% reduction in theft and a 14% reduction in burglary.
“Nationally and locally however, we are seeing increases in serious violence with vulnerable young people being targeted by organised crime groups and exploited to carry out their criminal biddings, including carrying knives. Early intervention is key to tackling this issue and I recently secured nearly £900k from the Government for a programme (REBOOT) which will bolster diversionary activities for young people across Sussex. In just two weeks it has already engaged with 15 young people to steer them away from crime and violence.”
There has been a 10% increase in violence against the person, which is less than the national average (19%) but a large proportion of these are recorded as non injury violent crime.
Last year saw an encouraging 19% increase in stalking and harassment reports, which signals an increase in reporting to police and raised awareness to ensure early intervention and safeguarding. A campaign this month which focused on the impact of stalking, urged victims to take stalking seriously and report the crime early on, while highlighting how to keep safe and signposting to local support services.
Assistant Chief Constable Nick May said: “Officers and staff work hard to keep communities’ safe and feeling safe, so it is encouraging to see that the majority of crime types in Sussex are well below the national average. This is a result of significant work being carried out every single day.
“However, we are not complacent and are constantly taking action to target offenders and reduce the risk of harm. Tackling violence and knife crime in our county is a priority for us.”
An increase in possession of a weapon is being analysed for better understanding, although it follows the national trend. Crimes involving a knife meanwhile have risen by 2%, against a rise nationally of 6%.
ACC May said: “During the recent Operation Sceptre week of action for knife crime, we were clear this wasn't one week of action but continues to be part of everyday policing. A £1million fund, secured by the PCC from the Home Office, will support us in proactively combating county lines and drugs in our community.
"It will see us stepping up activity to target repeat victims and offenders, high visibility patrols in hotspot areas and our use of stop and search. We are working with partners to prevent crime and educate young people, focusing on engagement and prevention to make a real difference to communities across the county. We are not just tackling the crime but also the root cause.”