Violent crime in Milton Keynes on the rise with nearly 10,000 cases recorded over past year

Main factor behind increase was stalking and harassment cases with sexual offences also up

Friday, 5th November 2021, 12:53 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 12:54 pm

Violent crime in Milton Keynes has risenover the last year, despite an overall drop in recorded offences.

Thames Valley Police recorded 9,406 incidents of violent crime in Milton Keynes in the 12 months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was an increase of 9% compared to the previous year.

The figures also showed reports of fraud and hacking continued to rise

At 34.8 crimes per 1,000 people, that was higher than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 31.6.

One of the main factors behind the increase in Milton Keynes was the rise in stalking and harassment, which rose by 45%, from 2,270 incidents to 3,296.

There were four homicides, which include murders and manslaughters, down by one on the previous 12 months.

Around 5.8 million offences were recorded across England and Wales in the year to June – in line with the previous year – though there was a 3% decrease to 4.9 million offences when excluding fraud and computer misuse.

Nick Stripe, head of crime statistics at the ONS, said the figures showed overall reductions in the reporting and recording of many crime types during periods of lockdown.

However, reports of fraud and hacking continued to rise – something the ONS previously suggested was due to criminals taking advantage of behavioural changes during the pandemic, while many took to online shopping amid lockdowns when there were restrictions on movement.

The total number of offences in Milton Keynes fell by 10%, with police recording 23,116 crimes over the course of the year.

This puts the overall crime rate at 85.6 per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 81.3.

Other crimes recorded in Milton Keynes included:

788 sexual offences, a rise of 5%

6,230 theft offences, down 39%

2,266 incidents of criminal damage and arson, down 16%

1,024 drug offences, up 24%

262 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, down 19%

2,404 public order offences, up 63%

The ONS figures show 61,158 rapes were recorded across England and Wales in the 12 months to June – the highest recorded annual figure to date, and up by 10% from 55,779 the year before.

The second-highest number of sexual offences was also recorded over the period (164,763) – an 8% increase on the previous year.

The ONS urged caution when interpreting the data.

Mr Stripe added: “The rise could be due to an increase in victim reporting as lockdowns eased, an increase in the number of victims, or to an increase in victims’ willingness to report incidents, potentially as a result of high-profile cases and campaigns in recent times.”

Jeffrey DeMarco, assistant director at the charity Victim Support, said: “Much more needs to be done urgently to tackle both these offences and to ensure that those who come forward and report them are able to access justice.”