Eight crime hot spots have been pinpointed in a new report looking into the areas of Milton Keynes that have been most blighted by theft, violence, criminal damage and burglary.
A report published for tomorrow’s (Thursday) meeting of the SaferMK partnership also reveals the extent to which the authorities are concerned by a rising tide of hate crime, fuelled by a people with what it calls “right wing ideology”.
The partnership has been tasked with putting together an action plan to reverse a 14.1 per cent increase in crimes from 21,088 in 2017 to 24,058 in 2018.
Most categories of crime have increased when 2018 is compared with 2017, including a 69.1 per cent increase in public order offences, 52 per cent in violence without injury, 37.5 per cent in robberies, and a 29.7 per cent leap in vehicle crime.
Fewer crime categories have reduced in volume, with shoplifting down nearly 20 per cent, possession of weapons down 7.1 per cent, and burglaries dropping 4.7 per cent.
The report from Mark Wolski, Milton Keynes Council’s community cohesion manager, also drills down into the statistics to reveal eight areas which account for a massive 47 per cent of all crime reports.
Bletchley, with 4,859 crimes, Central MK, with 4,570, Wolverton with 1,249 crimes, and Newport Pagnell, on 1,248, are identified as the four areas of high demand.
Bletchley is top of the crime blight list when it comes to vehicle, violence without injury, and criminal damage. Central Milton Keynes tops the list of shame for thefts, vehicle crime and shoplifting.
The report focuses further into the data, revealing Netherfield, Fishermead, Oldbrook, and Broughton, as the areas which are the “highest volume contributors”.
Netherfield has seen 632 reported crimes, with 127 of those being violence without injury. Fishermead’s 577 reports include 67 of violence with injury, and 132 of violence without injury.
Over in Oldbrook, there have been 166 reports of violence, 107 without injury and 59 without, among the 523 reported crimes.
Violence also features in Broughton, with 47 with injury, and 92 without, featuring in the area’s 467 total reported crimes.
The only clearly identifiable crime trend that the report has managed to pin down is that violence against the person crimes spiked from April through to July in 2018.
Anti-social behaviour when reported to the police has dropped, by 6.4 per cent, but has risen by 5.8 per cent when reported to the council. Fly-tipping is up by 9.3 per cent, from 4,961 incidents in 2017 to 6,738 in 2018.
That’s an average of more than 18 incidents every single day of the year, and this has been the biggest contributor to cases of anti-social behaviour, and now stands at 61 per cent of all cases of anti-social behaviour reported to MK Council.
The report also highlights emerging issues, including domestic abuse, hate crime, modern-day slavery, gangs, and international terrorism.
Mr Wolski’s report adds: “Locally, Milton Keynes is seeing an increase in volume of intelligence and referrals regarding individuals expressing interest in right-wing ideology.”
The SaferMK partnership meeting will discuss the focus for activities this year and next, and members will be discussing prioritising action on tackling crimes of violence, domestic abuse, and hate crime because of its escalating volume and impact on community cohesion.
In 2018 hate crime has sky-rocketing in all reported categories, including against the disabled, religious groups, homophobia, racial and transphobic. Homophobic incidents have seen a 129 per cent rise, from 24 in 2017 to 334, and racist incidents have risen by 56 per cent, to 474 reported incidents in 2018.
A range of actions have been proposed, including improving the use of intelligence and data analysis, and having a communications campaign to “positively impact community concerns and cohesion.”