Hartlepool experiences double-digit rise in crime

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Hartlepool recorded a double-digit rise in crime with increases in burglary, vehicle crime and anti-social behaviour.

All crime across the town rose 11.5% between last October and December.

A further 230 incidents were reported to police compared to the same period the previous year.

Vehicle crime rose by just over 20% from 159 incidents in October to December 2015, to 190 last year.

Burglaries increased from 170 in 2015 to 205 last year.

And anti-social behaviour saw an 11.8% spike to 1,664 incidents in Hartlepool – the highest increase in the Cleveland Police force area.

Lisa Oldroyd, of Hartlepool Borough Council told a meeting of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, that Hartlepool is on course for a 12% increase in crime for the year as a whole including a 7% jump in anti-social behaviour.

But Superintendant Alastair Simpson said crime had fallen to around 8% since the start of this year.

He said: “We have seen a recent increase in vehicle crime.

“It’s primarily people leaving desirable items on show in vehicles which has been subject to crime prevention messages for about the past 40 years.

“I think overall the crime trends mirror national trends, the increase in crime, although we’ve actually got a lower increase in violent crime than our similar group of forces and nationally.

“Worthy of note, our domestic abuse rates are some of the highest in the country which I think needs a particular focus.”

Steve Johnson, of Cleveland Fire Brigade, said vehicle fires in Hartlepool had leaped 78% at 48 this year.

Councillor Marjorie James questioned whether links could be drawn between the increases in burglary and vehicle crime and benefit changes.

She said: “I’m not excusing violence or theft or burglary, but I am trying to make some sense of it.”

Councillor James said identifying trends could help target budget funding to where it would make most difference.