Colchester ‘remains safe’ despite 11% rise in crime rate

Man robbed of headphones

Man robbed of headphones

A senior policeman has reassured Colchester residents that the town is still safe as police figures reveal crime has risen by more than 10% in the borough.

A briefing document, published ahead of a public engagement meeting with Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston on Thursday, reveals there were 1,177 more crimes from November 2014 to October this year, compared with the year before – up 11.1%

Among the largest rises were house burglary, which increased by 47% with 244 more offences, and violence without injury which rose by 34.6% with 486 more crimes.

There were 53 more violent incidents resulting in injury, while sexual offences rose by nearly one-third and robbery by almost one-quarter.

The only crime type to fall was anti-social behaviour.

Acting Chief Inspector Gary Chapman said: “We are seeing a rise in crime across the country and the Colchester district is unfortunately no exception to that.

“Crime rates are still around 25-30% lower than they were 10 years ago and the district remains a very safe place, to live, work and spend time.

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“There has been a significant rise in the number of burglaries and we have already taken a number of steps to address this which are proving successful.

“Operation Operatic has been put in place to disrupt and identify criminal activity. We have been targeting known offenders in order to improve intelligence gathering and support work to identify suspects.

“A number of burglary suspects have been arrested, charged and remanded and there has been a reduction in reports of dwelling burglaries since late September 2015.

“Joint partnership work has recently resulted in Colchester achieving Purple Flag accreditation, which recognises the district has a varied, safe and enjoyable night-time economy.

“We take a multi-agency approach within the district with Street Pastors, the SOS Bus, council zone managers and the use of doormen from a local nightclub monitoring taxi ranks.

Other work within the district has included regular premises checks undertaken by the police, joint patrols with the Royal Military Police and the strong interaction that the police and the council licensing teams have with the licensees.

“We remain committed to dealing with the offences which cause harm to the people of Colchester and will continue to send our officers to where they can be most effective.”

Increases in the sexual offence and violence without injury have been put down to changes in crime recording and increased confidence of victims to come forward about domestic abuse and rape.

The public meeting takes place from 6.30-8:30pm on Thursday at the The Essex Business School at the University of Essex campus in Wivenhoe.

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