Mapped: Is lockdown affecting crime reports in Suffolk?

Essex police have found Michelle Woods from Colchester (FILE PHOTO) Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Essex police have found Michelle Woods from Colchester (FILE PHOTO) Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

There were almost 5,000 crimes reported to Suffolk police in March - see them all on one map.

In the most recent crime report statistics, published on the police data website on April 28, 4,982 reports were made to Suffolk Constabulary in March 2020 – 4% less than the total crimes reported in February (5,188).

Figures for March 2020 include a week spent in lockdown, plus the uncertain period before this when social distancing measures were being implemented.

The number of reported crimes is either steady or falling in comparison to the previous month across all but one type of report – incidents of anti-social behaviour increased by 17%, from 475 to 556.

Both vehicle crime (23.7%) and shoplifting (22.1%) fell by almost a quarter in comparison to February.

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A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “It is important to remember that crime statistics do not give the full picture of a local policing service and overall Suffolk remains a safe county to live and work.

“These figures also need to be set in context regarding certain categories of offences; for instance, incidents of violence can range from reports of an assault by pushing to more serious assaults of grievous bodily harm.

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“Similarly, reported incidents of sexual offences can range from indecent exposure to rape.

“The restructure of our neighbourhood policing model in 2018 allowed us to put more than 100 police officers into Safer Neighbourhood Teams to ensure we have the right resources with the right skills and powers to impact on those issues that matter most to communities.”

Speeding offences, not included on the map, have been highlighted as a cause for concern by the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team (NSRAPT) who have reported dozens of incidents of drivers breaking speed limits now major roads are clear of traffic.

In previous police statistics, as many as 20% of crimes in one month were reported without a location and could not be represented on these maps.

It is unclear if the location of a report was not given by members of the public or recorded by police.

In March 2020, just 35 of 4,982 incidents – less than 1% – did not have a location reported.

Outcomes such as charges and arrests are not included on this map.

The spokesman added: “We’re grateful for the support from the public which is demonstrated every time we appeal for help.

“Preventing and detecting crime also requires effective partnerships and in Suffolk we have strong support from a range of partners in the public, voluntary and private sectors.”

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