Crime and homicides across Yorkshire rise - but how did your police force rate?

Crime across Yorkshire has risen by 10 per cent in the last 12 months, with an increase in homicides, violent offences, and possession of offensive weapons.

Crime across Yorkshire has risen by 10 per cent in the last 12 months, with an increase in homicides, violent offences, and possession of offensive weapons.
Crime across Yorkshire has risen by 10 per cent in the last 12 months, with an increase in homicides, violent offences, and possession of offensive weapons.

There were a total of 588,832 crimes recorded across the Yorkshire area in the 12 months ending March 2019.

There was also a 35 per cent increase in homicides with a total of 81 recorded across all four Yorkshire forces.

The number of violent offences increased by 29 per cent with 201, 207 offences.

There was also a 69 per cent increase in stalking and harassment (63,622 offences) a 23 per cent rise in death or serious injury by unlawful driving (134 offences) and a 26 per cent rise in the possession of offensive weapons (4681 crimes recorded).

There was a four per cent fall in the number of burglaries (52,665 offences), a two per cent fall in shoplifting (44, 246 offences) and also a two per cent fall in criminal damage and arson (68,198 crimes).

The Yorkshire Post takes a look at how each force fared.

West Yorkshire Police

Crime in West Yorkshire has risen by 12 per cent.

There were a total of 296,283 crimes recorded by the force in the 12 months to March 2019 and 39 homicides.

The West Yorkshire force saw rises in violent crime (up 30 per cent), stalking or harassment (up 63 per cent) and robbery (25 per cent).

There were falls in burglary (down by five per cent) and criminal damage and arson which saw a four per cent reduction.

The force, which was judged as 'outstanding' for the way it records crime, said part of the rise was because victims had more confidence in reporting offences to police

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The force also said the reduction in burglary had been as a result of increased focus on the offence ad cross-border working.

It also acknowledged a rise in violent crime,

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Russ Foster said: “We acknowledge there has been a rise in violent crime including knife crime. We are focusing a large amount of our effort in tackling this, however a proportion of these offences relate to incidents where no-one has been injured.

“#Operation Jemlock, launched in April to tackle serious and violent crime, has already delivered some impressive results with more than 400 arrests and a number of weapons including knives and guns taken off the streets.

“That work is ongoing and involves our officers carrying out proactive, high visibility patrols in key crime areas. We are working closely with our partners and communities to tackle serious violent crime.

“At the same time we are also faced with unprecedented demand for our services from individuals contacting us often when they are their most vulnerable. We constantly analyse demand and have introduced a range of measures to manage it including resolving more enquiries at the first point of contact, ensuring that officers are only deployed to the incidents which require their attendance.”

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said he meets regularly with the Chief Constable to explore further measures to both prevent and address issues emerging from crime patterns and trends.

He said: “We know that violent crime and the use of weapons remain key priorities locally and again mirror what is being witnessed up and down the country. The data shows rises in violence against the person and violence with injury, and although some of that could be down to improved recording, it is a situation we are closely monitoring with West Yorkshire Police and our partners."

South Yorkshire Police

There were a total of 144,922 crimes recorded by the force in the 12 months to March 2019.

The South Yorkshire force saw rises in violent crime (up 19 per cent), stalking or harassment (up 48 per cent) and robbery ( five per cent).

There were falls in sexual offences (down by five per cent) and burglary which saw a three per cent reduction.

South Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable David Hartley said: "I am pleased the latest ONS crime figures reflect the work that has gone into reducing crimes such as sexual offences, burglary and criminal damage across the region.

"While the two per cent rise in crime in South Yorkshire overall is obviously worrying for local residents, the increase is smaller than the English average of seven per cent and I would like to reassure our communities the county remains a safe place to work, visit and live. We are totally committed to tackling crime and run regular initiatives to crack down on emerging issues as and when they come to our attention.

"We are continuing to see a positive effect following the re-introduction of neighbourhood policing in the region, with reductions in reports of such crimes as residential burglaries, vehicle offences, shoplifting and arson.

"Although increases in some areas - including drug offences and possession of weapons - may appear a worry, these are to be expected due to our proactive approach where a lot of emphasis is put on taking prompt and decisive action against those who engage in this type of crime.

"We also note the increase in reports of stalking and harassment. Again, these are priority areas for the force and we have put in considerable work to encourage more people to come forward and report these crimes, while also highlighting the support we are able to provide to victims.”

Humberside Police

Crime across the Humberside Police force area has risen by 18 per cent.

There were a total of 104,416 crimes recorded by the force in the 12 months to March 2019.

Humberside Police force saw rises in violent crime (up 37 per cent), stalking or harassment (up 138 per cent) and sexual offences (22 per cent).

There were falls in residential burglary (down by 11 per cent) and vehicle offences saw a five per cent reduction,

Deputy Chief Constable Chris Rowley said: “While the latest release of quarterly crime figures highlights a rise in crime in our force area, this is also the picture nationally.

“The improvements of crime recording by police forces can be attributed as one of the factors that has resulted in more offences being recorded, rather than more crimes actually being committed, and can be associated with the increase.

“Another factor is that we now have more officers on the streets, proactively dealing with things like drug-related crime and antisocial behaviour, which will inevitably lead to more crimes being recorded.

The deputy chief constable said an increase in violent crime above the national average can "be largely attributed" to improvements the force is making in the way it records stalking and harassment.

Mr Rowley also commented on the 33 per cent rise in the possession of weapons.

He said: “We have seen an increase in the number of possession of weapon offences reported to us, following ongoing appeals to the public to let us know if someone is carrying a knife and other targeted action in relation to tackling knife crime and educating young people about the dangers and consequences.

“Sexual offences continues to see a rise, again nationally, which given the current climate and the high profile reporting in the media over recent years, can be seen as more people having confidence in the police and in coming forward to report offences, knowing they will be listened to and taken seriously."

Mr Rowley said the priority of the force is to protect the public and ensure officers have a good understanding of communities.

He said: “However when a crime is committed, we want people to feel reassured that we will record it and investigate thoroughly to hold those responsible to account.”

North Yorkshire Police

Crime across North Yorkshire has risen by 16 per cent.

There were a total of 45,211 crimes recorded by the force in the 12 months to March 2019.

North Yorkshire Police saw a 35 per cent rise in violent crime and a 130 per cent rise in stalking and harassment.

There was also a 26 per cent rise in the number of sexual offences.

Deputy Chief Constable Phil Cain said: “Today’s figures show you’re far less likely to be a victim of a crime in North Yorkshire than you are nationally. In fact, the county remains the safest place in England.

“That said, we have seen increases in some types of recorded crime. This highlights the challenges we continue to face in policing, which we have a duty to address with the limited resources available to us.

“We’re meeting those challenges by finding new or better ways to tackle different types of crime and further improving victim confidence, so more people feel comfortable coming forward and reporting crimes to us.

“There are lots of ways we’re doing this. We’re issuing frontline officers with handheld devices so they spend less time behind a desk and more time on the beat, where the public can approach them, chat to them and share information.

“We’re developing dedicated teams, who are highly trained in certain areas of policing, such as our Rural Taskforce, our teams that safeguard vulnerable people and our Fraud and Cybercrime experts.

“And crucially, we’re helping victims by giving them the response, support and confidence they need to report a crime.

“That may mean we see year-on-year fluctuations in crime figures. But it also means we’re putting victims first and adapting the way we work to meet the challenges we face, to ensure North Yorkshire once again remains the safest place in England.”