Violent crime and drug offences rise in Essex, statistics reveal
- Credit: Archant
Violent crime in Essex rose by 39% in the past year while drug offences also saw a sharp increase, according to latest statistics from the Home Office.
Total crime across Essex increased by 18% to 158,421 compared with an 8% rise in England and Wales, excluding fraud, to 5.2million in the year ending March 2019.
Drug offences in the county rose by 24% against a rise nationally of 11%, while violence against the person increased by 39%, compared with a 20% rise across England and Wales.
The Home Office crime data compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also revealed there were 1,801 recorded robberies - a rise of 19%, higher than the national average of 11%.
Burglaries in Essex fell 6% to 55,898 versus a 3% drop nationally and theft from the person was also down 7% compared with a national rise of 5%.
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Knife and sharp instrument offences recorded by Essex Police fell 24% from 938 (April 17 to March 18) to 714 (April 18 to March 19).
MORE: Police warn of knife dangers following Operation SceptreEssex Police said recorded crime in the county is lower than the average across England and Wales with 86.4 offences reported per 1,000 people compared to 88.9 nationally.
A spokesman for the force said the county continued to be a "safe place to live, work and study".
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"Crime is increasing across the country, and Essex is no different which is why we are investing to help better support victims, protect the vulnerable, tackle violence, and increase visibility," the spokesman said.
"We recruited an extra 150 officers last year and will be adding an extra 215 this year.
"We have already increased the number of officers in our community and local policing teams and next week we'll launch our new town centre teams which will see 68 officers serving a range of communities in 23 locations."
MORE: Cash and drugs haul seized in new crackdown on 'county lines' gangs"There has been a rise in the number of possession of weapons and drugs offences recorded in Essex and each of those offences represents positive, proactive police work.
"Our officers are using stop-and-search in an effective and responsible way, while Operation Sceptre is seeing knives seized and taken off our streets.
"Our Operation Raptor teams are prolific in disrupting drug gangs and putting drug dealers behind bars."
The force added that £1.5m of additional funding from the Home Office will be used to help prevent and tackle street violence and knife crime.