'Harmful' crime on the rise in North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 February 2018

Archant

Violent crime, burglaries, possession of weapons, and public order offences are on the rise in North Somerset, new statistics have revealed.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed ‘harmful’ crimes have increased in the district in the 12 months preceding September compared to the previous year.

Domestic burglaries have increased by 19 per cent to 684 incidents in the district over the 12-month period, but the number of non-domestic burglaries has plummeted by half to 387.

North Somerset saw seven per cent more public order offences, with 1,790 recorded, but this has been attributed 
to changes in classification of antisocial behaviour which means more incidents are being recorded as crimes.

The largest increase was seen in possession of weapons offences, which grew by 58 per cent to 111.

The number of violent offences resulting in injury increased by one per cent to 1,303. Violence which did not result in an injury grew by seven per cent to 3,371.

North Somerset enjoyed a two per cent decline in total crime, with 14,607 incidents recorded.

The number of drug offences declined significantly by 20 per cent to 332.

Incidents shoplifting, robbery, criminal damage, arson and theft were also down on the previous year respectively.

One murder was recorded in North Somerset in the period, the first for three years.

The Mercury asked Avon and Somerset Constabulary 
to comment on the figures, but it declined to offer its perspective on the trends or its programmes which have been successful in reducing offences.

ONS crime statistics analyst Mark Bangs commented on the report, which has found crime is declining across the 
country but suggests more ‘harmful’, violent offences are becoming more common.

He said: “These latest figures indicate levels of crime have continued to fall compared with the previous year, but this picture varied across different types of crime and not all offence types showed falls.

“While overall levels of violent crime were not increasing, there is evidence of rises having occurred in some of the low incidence but more harmful categories such as knife and gun crime.”

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