Crime in Scarborough has risen by 20 per cent over past 12 months

Crime in Scarborough has risen by 20% over the last 12 months, new figures have revealed.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 11:25 am
Updated Thursday, 31st October 2019, 11:26 am
File photo. Picture by Richard Ponter

Violence (3,337), theft (2,018) and criminal damage and arson (1,274) make up the bulk of the borough’s crimes which jumped from 7,683 reported incidents in 2017/18 to 9,214 in 2018/19.

Chief Inspector Rachel Wood, North Yorkshire Police’s Operational Commander of Scarborough and Ryedale, told a meeting of Scarborough Council’s overview and scrutiny board on Wednesday that the public had more “confidence” to report crimes to the force.

The committee was shown data for the previous two financial years as part of the council and police’s joint Community Impact Team plan to tackle crime through to 2022.

Chief Insp Wood said: “You will all see from the report that the crime figures have gone up and there isn’t a single factor that can be attributed to this but we will see there is the national trend which shows that crime is going up.

“One of the key factors is around confidence and trust so the more as a team we are out together, the more we are engaging with the public, the more we are building that trust and confidence the more we are asking people ‘help us understand what is really going on’ then we are going to get more crimes reported to us.

“In some respects that is a positive because it shows people have got more confidence.”

She added that the force had focused more on “crime data integrity” and recording “secondary crimes”.

The example Chief Insp Wood used was an arrest for domestic violence, where once the offender had been arrested and charged if it came to light they had assaulted their partner previously over the course of a number of weeks each of those assaults would be recorded individually as a crime rather than as one overall incident.

Harassment arrests are also recorded under “violence” whether or not a physical injury is sustained, the committee heard.

She added: “Possession of an offensive weapon [arrests] have gone up because we are doing more stop and searches, so we are finding more than we have so it is no longer going undetected.

“It will also be no surprise to see that our busiest months for crimes are June, July and August as you would expect in a seasonal town.”

The overview and scrutiny board gave its backing to the Community Impact Team (CIT) plan for the next four years.

The CIT team is jointly managed by the council’s Community Safety and Safeguarding manager and Chief Insp Wood and tries to work on early intervention and prevention of crime by working together to help vulnerable individuals.

The Scarborough team, the councillors were told, deals with an average of 55 cases per week. Many of these involve high levels of vulnerability and complexity, including issues relating to sexual exploitation, violence, drug dealing and substance misuse.

The CIT plan through 2022 aims to reduce crime and disorder by targeting areas with high levels of offending and working with vulnerable people to try and stop crimes before they take place.

The team will also focus on the safeguarding of vulnerable children and tackling so-called “county lines” drug dealing, which is the trafficking and dealing of drugs by organised criminal groups across the country and refers to the telephone ‘lines’ used to facilitate this.