Norfolk's PCC comments on latest crime statistics
Norfolk’s Police and Crime and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has responded to the latest release of crime statistics data for all forces in England and Wales from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
The statistics, published yesterday Thursday 27 April, cover the 12-month period to December 2022 and show crime in Norfolk increased during this period by 1.8% (66,859 offences to 68,037). *Nationally an increase of 8.5% was recorded for England and Wales.
The latest increase is less than the 4.8% rise shown during the last release of data in January 2023, however PCC Giles Orpen-Smellie is keen to stress any increase of crime in the county is unfortunate to see.
PCC, Giles Orpen-Smellie, said: “It is positive to see a fall in the percentage increase for all crimes across Norfolk.
“However, any rise in crime in the county should not be taken lightly and I will continue to liaise with the Chief Constable and his senior officers and staff to ensure they provide an effective and efficient policing service for Norfolk.
“Last week I held the second of my PCC Accountability Meetings to publicly question and challenge the Chief Constable and colleagues about their delivery of policing.
“The Chief mentioned the changes on the horizon around recording standards and in the coming months it will be interesting to see just what impact such national recording changes will have here locally.
“In the meantime, I will be asking the Chief why there has been such a rise in possession of weapons, theft and shoplifting, in particular.
“It is encouraging to see stalking and harassment, drug and public order offences have shown decreases of more than 10% each but I am keen to know the true picture behind such falls.
“Once again, the occurrence of sexual offences and violence with and without injury continues to climb. A lot of these offences are associated with domestic abuse and are very much ‘hidden’ crimes, committed behind closed doors. It is of note that 24% of all reported crime in Norfolk is related to domestic abuse, which by its nature largely happens behind closed doors.
“I am proud of the work my office continues to do in this area to help victims of domestic abuse, including the launch of the Norfolk Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (NIDAS) which marked its first year anniversary in January.”
The ONS stats have also shown a 5.6% fall in knife crime.
The release of the ONS data comes as the PCC publishes Norfolk Constabulary’s **National Crime and Policing Measures statistics for the 12 months up to December 2022.
These figures also show a rise for violence with injury offences, up by 22% (against the 2019 baseline set by the Government). Records of violence have steadily increased nationally over the last three years, but practices to improve the recording of offences and the tendency for the public to report crimes have risen too, which could be an effect of reporting, rather than a real change.
Neighbourhood crime (36% fall), residential burglary (40% fall), vehicle offences (36% fall), theft (28% fall) and robbery (30% fall) have all however, shown decreases compared to the 2019 baseline.
Earlier this month Minister for Crime and Policing Chris Philp announced a national change to recording processes over the coming weeks.
The change means all reported crimes for a single incident will now consistently be recorded under the ‘principal offence’, rather than as multiple entries on a database that effectively re-records the same incident. The police will continue to pursue all offences involved, understanding how they are linked, as part of their thorough investigative work.
The idea is to bring a consistent approach to the recording of all offences, seeing crime recorded more accurately.
*Following the implementation of a new IT system in November 2022, Devon and Cornwall Police have been unable to supply data for the quarter, October 2022 to December 2022.
**The Home Office has developed National Crime and Policing Outcomes under six priority areas which have accompanying measures to help focus effort on key national priorities and measure performance. As part of the Specified Information Order every Police and Crime Commissioner is legally required to publish performance on these measures.