Violent and sexual crimes rise in Grantham
Violent and sexual crimes have rocketed in Grantham over the past three years, official figures show.
The town is broken up into three areas by Lincolnshire Police - Grantham Town Centre, Grantham Town East and Grantham Town West - and all three have seen significant rises in these serious crimes, in line with the national picture.
According to police.uk - a website operated by the government’s Home Office department - the first four months of 2019 (January to April) saw 534 violent and sexual crimes reported to Lincolnshire Police. This compares with 248 during the same period last year and 221 in 2017.
The total recorded in the 12 months of 2017 was 734, with a big jump to 1,084 in 2018. This places the figures for 2019 so far at almost half of last year’s total at just four months in.
According to Lincolnshire Police, the majority of reports were for violence.
Lincolnshire’s police and crime commissioner, Marc Jones, told the Journal he has confidence in actions being taken by the force to “bear down” on violent crime.
He said: “Through my regular meetings with the Chief Constable and time spent shadowing Officers on the frontline I am confident of the action being taken by the force to bear down on crime of all kinds, especially violent crime.
“I would urge residents to report all incidents to ensure that a true picture of crime is known for their area and appropriate decisions can be made by the force to response to it.
“There is always more to do but the investments that have been made in officers, training and equipment will ensure that our communities can expect Lincolnshire Police to continue to do all they can to protect them, their families and their community.”
Since 2017, the largest number of violent crimes were for the offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, at 91 in 2017, 93 in 2018 and 114 in the first four months of 2019.
This was closely followed by common assault, with 66 in 2017, 69 in 2018 and 114 in 2019.
The figures also show significant jumps this year in: engaging in controlling or coercive behaviour; harassment; sending letters etc with intent to cause anxiety or distress; and threats to kill.
Mr Jones touched on the national, and international, rise in violent crime, giving reassurances that Lincolnshire “remains one of the safest places to live in the UK”.
He added: “There are a number of factors that make understanding the true nature of the figures exceptionally difficult including huge changes to the way crime is now recorded and the various incidents that are recorded under the category of ‘violence’ including ‘malicious communications’ such as comments through social media.”
Lincolnshire Police said some of the increase can be put down to: the use of police protection notices (PPNs), which are on-the-spot temporary orders in cases of domestic violence; the recording of controlling/coercive behaviour in addition to other offences reported at the same time; a force-wide increase in offences such as malicious communications due to the increased use of social media and text messaging; and improved recording of offences such as harassment and stalking.