Big increase in violent crime in Milton Keynes

Violent crime has increased dramatically in the past year according to crime figures published today by Thames Valley Police.

Thursday, 28th April 2016, 4:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th April 2016, 5:14 pm
Police officer

The figures shows an 18.5 per cent increase in such offences.

But burglaries and robberies showed a slight decrease in the year running 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.

Drugs-related offences were also down by 16.8 per cent.

There has also been a slight increase in the reporting of sexual offences (up by 3.8 per cent) with rape reporting in particular rising 35.9 per cent in the past year.

“I am pleased that the number of burglaries continues to fall throughout Milton Keynes, but we will be working hard in order to try to drive down that figure even further over the coming year,” Supt Gez Chiariello, LPA Commander, said.

“With hate crime and sexual offences, we have seen increases across the board, which is a positive indication that more people are reporting these categories of crime because more people are trusting us to take their reports seriously and investigate fully. Awareness campaigns such as #WeStandTogether and #ConsentIsEverything have helped to support this.

“We have seen a slight increase in reports of sexual offences with a 3.8 per cent rise (an increase of 20) compared with the previous year, which is lower that the Force-wide figure of 21.4 per cent. The reasons for this include our focus on working closely with partner agencies to continue building on the increased trust that victims have in us to deal with all reports of sexual offences, compassionately and sensitively, and victims also trust us to investigate fully and prosecute wherever possible.

“We have seen in an 18.5 per cent increase in the number of incidents of violent crime in Milton Keynes, with the Force-wide increase being 30.3 per cent. Part of the rise is down to new recording categories of violence without injury and harassment, and our officers are now recording these types of crime more accurately. These make up just under 60 per cent of all violent crimes. Tackling violent crime remains a key priority for the Force.

“The number of arson offences across the LPA increased by 69 compared with the previous year and we will be working with our partners in order to try to reduce this figure next year.”

“We are getting better at accurately recording crime and we are seeing increasing levels of public confidence in reporting crimes to our officers. This is helping to see a rise in the number of crimes overall recorded compared with the previous year, although the increase in Milton Keynes was lower than the Force-wide and national increases.”

Colin Wilderspin, Head of Community Safety at Milton Keynes Council, said: “The reductions are a clear example of what can be achieved working alongside both the police and our communities.

“The areas that have an increase in reporting demonstrate the new confidence in areas that, historically, have been difficult to encourage people to report crimes.

“The figures are encouraging in many ways but also demonstrate the need to ensure that we continue to work in partnership to reduce the crimes that are of most concern to the public, and to reduce the fear of crime in Milton Keynes.”