Dorset has seen an 8 per cent increase in reported crime, according to the statistics released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the 12 month period until June 2018.
The rise in reported crime in the county compares to a national rise of 10 per cent across England and Wales. This follows record levels of 999 and 101 calls over the summer, particularly June, which was the busiest June for 999 calls since 2001.
In terms of specific crimes, the violence with injury category increased by 21.4 per cent this year, though some of this increase is down to improvements in crime recording and a review of crimes that should fall into this category. In contrast, violence without injury increased by 10 per cent in Dorset, which is lower than the national increase in the same category of 21.2 per cent. However, the figure still places Dorset as the 14th lowest force in the country in terms of crimes per 1,000 people, reinforcing that Dorset remains a safe place to live, work and visit.
Deputy Chief Constable David Lewis said: “It is clear that, like other forces, the increase in reported crime across Dorset mirrors the national trend, particularly for crimes such as domestic and sexual offences. This can be attributed to our increased emphasis on recording crime as accurately as possible, as well as increased confidence in people coming forwards to report to us.
“We have always fought to be honest with our public and it is the case that some of the increase is down to a genuine rise in crime taking place in local communities. All officers and staff are focused on working hard to reduce crime and to support victims. We will also continue to place a strong emphasis on our reporting responsibilities, even if this leads to an increase in reported crime, as accurate crime reporting is essential to maintain public trust.
“Despite all this, Dorset remains a safe place to live, work and visit and the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime is still very low.”
The Police & Crime Commissioner for Dorset, Martyn Underhill, said ‘’Despite the rise, Dorset remains a safe place to work and live. It is important to acknowledge the increase in reporting crimes such as domestic crime and sexual offences as being a reflection of the increased confidence our communities have in the Force. For example, the work of Dorset Police and partners on campaigns such as ‘Cut Your Strings’ was vital in highlighting the often hidden and sinister elements of ‘coercive and controlling’ behaviour and we know that because of that campaign more domestic abuse cases were reported to Dorset Police than ever before.
‘’I shall continue to work with the police and all partner agencies to understand what the figures are telling us and to find effective ways of reducing crime across Dorset.’’