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Increase in crime in Hartlepool ‘due to summer heat and World Cup’

England made it to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.
England made it to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.

A rise in crime in Hartlepool compared to this time last year has been put down to recent warm summer weather combined with the World Cup.

The Safer Hartlepool Partnership revealed crime between the start of April and the end of June was up 3% on this time last year, with 82 more incidents recorded.

This included a 112% rise in the number of public disorder offences from 87 to 185, and a rise by a quarter in the number of crimes involving violence against people, from 605 to 753.

Katie Ainger, from the council’s community safety team, explained the figures and the reason behind the rise at the latest Safer Hartlepool Partnership meeting.

She said: “A lot of the crimes with violence are being linked to the night-time economy.

“A lot of them took place around the Church Street area and around Navigation Point.

“They are likely linked to warmer weather and the World Cup taking place, meaning more people have been going out and getting together to have a few drinks and enjoy the warm weather.”

However despite the overall slight increase in crime the committee was pleased to see a drop in several key crime areas.

The number of sexual offences dropped almost 30% from 74 to 52, while vehicle crime dropped by 28% from 271 to 196.

Criminal damage and arson cases dropped by more than 10% to 347, the number of robberies decreased by 22% to 21 and the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour dropped by 7% to 1,650.

Members of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, which is made up of representatives from the council, the police and fire service, said these were particular areas which had been targeted to decrease.

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, council leader and chair of the meeting, said the figures offered good news for the area.

He said: “Some of the signs are good.

“Vehicle crime, criminal damage and anti-social behaviour are some of the areas that have been targeted to reduce crime and we have been tackling them.

“I know we have had increases in some of the areas but that is to be expected.

“Overall it’s good news for the partnership.”

Coun Jim Longridge, elected member on the committee, said: “It seems quite a positive report.

“We’ve had an increase in certain aspects but we are doing our best.”

The committee also noted social media campaigns had taken place using police posts to cut down on incidents such as vehicle crimes.

Chief Inspector Nigel Burnell, of Cleveland Police, said at the meeting: “It’s about problem solving and benefiting the public.”

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service