Robberies on the rise in Cherwell, recorded crime figures reveal

The number of robberies in Cherwell has increased by almost 50%, according to the latest police recorded crime statistics.

Office for National Statistics data shows there were 85 reported robberies in the 12 months to September 2018.

Robberies on the rise in Cherwell, recorded crime figures reveal

Robberies on the rise in Cherwell, recorded crime figures reveal

These can include muggings, as well as more serious attacks such as hold ups with guns and knives.

That figure is up 47% on 2016-17, when 58 incidents were recorded.

The statistics are based on crimes recorded with the police, and the ONS urges caution in interpreting some of these figures. However, statisticians said there appears to be a genuine rise in robberies.

Helen Ross, from the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice, said: "In recent decades we've seen the overall level of crime falling, but in the last year, it remained level.

"Burglary, shoplifting and computer misuse are decreasing but others, such as vehicle offences and robbery are rising.

"We have also seen increases in some types of 'lower-volume, high-harm' violence including offences involving knives or sharp instruments."

Overall, police recorded crime in Cherwell increased in the 12 months to September 2018.

Over the period, 10,622 crimes were recorded, up by 6% on 2016-17.

That means there was a rate of 72 crimes per 1,000 residents during 2017-18, below the England and Wales average of 85.

Gun and knife possession offences in Cherwell rose by seven to 83 incidents.

There have been three homicides, which are murders or manslaughters. There were two cases of death or injury by dangerous driving.

Across England and Wales, the number of recorded homicides rose by 14%, to the highest level since 2008. These figures excluded people who died in terror attacks.

In Cherwell, theft, one of the most high volume crimes, decreased by 10%. Drugs related offences rose by 34%.

Commenting on the national figures, Chief Constable Bill Skelly, of the National Police Chiefs' Council, said: "Rising crime, increased terrorist activity and fewer police officers have put serious strain on the policing we offer to the public.

"We are determining the additional capabilities and investment we need to drive down violence and catch more criminals - and we will make the case at the next Government Spending Review."

Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said: "These statistics show that your chance of being a victim ofcrime remains low, but we recognise that certain crimes - particularly violent crime - have increased, and we are taking action to address this."

Criminal damage in Cherwell, which includes arson and vandalising cars and houses, has gone down, from 1,422 incidents in 2016-17, to 1,247 in the latest figures.

While violence with injury, which includes assault, GBH and wounding, has risen, this could be due to improved police recording.

Similarly sexual offences are hard to judge as many more victims are now coming forward due to a series of high profile cases.

In Cherwell, there were 372 incidents recorded between October 2017 and September 2018, a 13% rise on the previous year, when 330 crimes were reported.

There were also 488 cases of stalking and harassment reported over the same period.

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation, commented: "Society just isn’t as safe as it once was, and although the police service is doing everything within its power, we are swimming against the tide."