Crime has increased slightly year-on-year on the Isle of Wight, according to the latest police recorded figures.
There were 10,369 reported offences between July 2017 and June 2018, data from the Office for National Statistics shows.
That’s up by 2% on the previous year, when 10,164 incidents were recorded.
Below average crime rate
That means there was a rate of 74 crimes per 1,000 residents during 2017-18, below the England and Wales average of 84.
The statistics are based on crimes reported to the police, and the ONS urges caution in interpreting some of these figures.
Genuine increase in burglary
Some offences go unreported while others may be more numerous due to a change in the focus of the police or greater public attention.
However the ONS believes crimes such as burglary and theft, which are generally well reported and recorded, have genuinely increased.
On the Isle of Wight theft, one of the most high volume crimes, decreased by 10%. Drugs related offences dropped by 17%.
Higher-harm types of violence
Joe Traynor, from the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice, said:
“Over recent decades, we’ve seen continued falls in overall levels of crime but in the last year the trend has been more stable.
“We saw rises in some types of theft and in some lower-volume but higher-harm types of violence.”
Gun and knife crime dropped
Despite nationally rising, gun and knife possession offences on the Isle of Wight have dropped by two, to 97 incidents.
There were 317 residential burglaries reported in 2017-18. Due to a change in how the ONS categorises burglaries, the localised figures cannot be compared with other years.
There has been one homicide, a murder or manslaughter.
Rise in criminal damage
Criminal damage on the Isle of Wight, which includes arson and vandalising cars and houses, has gone up, from 1,309 incidents in 2016-17, to 1,316 in the latest figures.
While violence with injury, which includes assault, GBH and wounding, has risen, this could just be due to improved police recording as opposed to an increase in incidents.
Similarly sexual crime statistics are hard to judge as many more victims are now coming forward due to a series of high profile cases.
On the Isle of Wight there were 462 incidents recorded between July 2017 and June 2018, when the same number of crimes were reported.
There were also 628 cases of stalking and harassment reported over the same period.
Apter: ‘More boots needed on the ground’
John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation for England and Wales, commented:
“It didn’t take a crystal ball to predict these shocking increases because they only reflect what we have been telling the Government for years – we need more boots on the ground.”
Labour described the ONS statistics as “truly shocking” and accused the Tories of “failing in their duty to protect the public and keep our citizens safe”.
Across England and Wales, the number of recorded homicides rose by 14%, reflecting an “upward trend” since 2014. These figures excluded people who died in terror attacks.
There was a 9% increase in offences with knives or sharp objects, leading to the the highest number of incidents since March 2011, when comparable records started.
Skelly: “Placing greater demand on policing”
Commenting on the national figures, Chief Constable Bill Skelly, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said:
“Rising crime is placing greater demand on policing, as forces strive to reduce crime as well as respond to a growing terrorist threat.
“There are also more calls from the public for help, including responding to people in crisis when other agencies lack their own capacity.”
Mr Skelly said the gap in numbers between reported crimes and criminals being charged is a “real concern for us”.
“The upcoming spending review is a crucial opportunity for the Government and police leaders to come to a consensus about police demand, our capabilities to meet it and the funding required.”