Hartlepool has one of the highest rates of burglary in all of England and Wales

Recorded crime on the increase.
Recorded crime on the increase.

Hartlepool has one of the highest rates of burglary in England and Wales, according to the latest police recorded crime figures.

There were 863 household break-ins in the 12 months to September 2018, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows.

Prime Minister Theresa May.

Prime Minister Theresa May.

This means that nine out of every 1,000 people in Hartlepool reported a burglary, one of the highest rates in England and Wales.

The statistics are based on crimes recorded by the police, and the ONS urges caution in interpreting some of these figures, the statisticians said burglary has reduced nationally.

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

Over the period, 11,255 crimes were recorded, up by 13% on 2016-17.

That means there is a crime for at least one in every 10 residents in Hartlepool, well above average for England and Wales.

Gun and knife possession offences in Hartlepool rose by 20 to 70 incidents.

There has been one homicide, a murder or manslaughter. Across England and Wales, the number of recorded homicides rose by 14%, to the highest level since 2008.

In Hartlepool, theft, one of the most high volume crimes, increased by 12%. Drugs-related offences slightly dropped by 4%.

Inspector Darren Bainbridge, of Cleveland Police, said: “The increase in crime in Hartlepool follows a national trend of increasing crime levels.

“Our officers continue to work hard alongside partner agencies to tackle crime across the town.

“Through working closely as part of a Community Safety Team and the Safer Hartlepool Partnership we have a multi-agency approach to dealing with crime, reducing offending and preventing harm to our communities in Hartlepool.

“Criminals don’t recognise borders so we have recently launched Operational Sentinel which tackles serious and organised crime throughout the Cleveland area and beyond.”

Criminal damage in Hartlepool, which includes arson and vandalising cars and houses, has gone down, from 1,612 incidents in 2016-17, to 1,492 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 Hartlepool, there were 242 incidents recorded between October 2017 and September 2018, a 4% rise on the previous year, when 233 crimes were reported.

There were also 787 cases of stalking and harassment reported over the same period.

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 of crime remains low, but we recognise that certain crimes – particularly violent crime – have increased, and we are taking action to address this.”

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.”