Vehicle crime doubles in Hartlepool - but police praise community as spike in tip-offs helps officers crack down on crooks

Vehicle crime has doubled in Hartlepool, new figures have shown – but police have also highlighted some positive changes.

Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 3:54 pm
Hartlepool police station

Senior officers have praised a spike in ‘community intelligence’ after crime in Hartlepool increased by more than 10% compared to the same period last year.

The latest figures from the Safer Hartlepool Partnership showed that from July to September 2019, there were 3,342 reported incidents of crime in the town - up 10.4% from 3,027 for the same period last year.

The largest increases were seen in stalking and harassment, which rose by 122 incidents to 440, an increase of almost 39%, and in vehicle crime, which rose by 143 incidents to 294 offences.

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Public disorder offences also went up from 185 to 262, while possession/use of drug incidents rose from 39 to 64.

Rachel Parker, team leader for the Hartlepool Community Safety Team, said the figures show the good work of the police, adding the most serious crimes did not see increases.

She said: “The increase is largely attributable to the increase in violence offences, but it is also linked to a rise in police generated offences, e.g. drug supply, possession of weapons, public order offences, which are all indicative of proactive policing in the town.

“Although violence offences increased by almost one quarter, it was linked to particular types of offences, mainly stalking and harassment offences and assault without injury. The most serious violence offences increased by less than one per cent.”

Chief Inspector Nigel Burnell, from Cleveland Police, urged residents to continue reporting intelligence to help them crackdown on incidents.

He said: “I just want to reiterate the community intelligence that we’ve been getting, it’s gained momentum.

“The more that we are doing, the more people are telling us about stuff that is going on in the community.

“We’d really offer a plea to everyone to keep pushing people and say if there is stuff that’s happening that you’re worried about and not happy about, tell the community safety team, tell the police.”

Reductions were seen in the number of shoplifting offences, which dropped from 494 to 408, while deliberate fires reduced from 175 last year to 151.

It was also reported there has been a 37% decrease in deliberate fires from the first quarter of this year.

Anti-social behaviour incidents in the town also decreased according to the figures, dropping 18% compared to the same time last year, from 1,611 to 1,327.

Officers also added every ward apart from Seaton experienced a drop in anti-social behaviour incidents.

Council leader Coun Shane Moore said the figures show several positive improvements in areas which had previously been targeted by the council and police.

He said: “When you look at the numbers, I appreciate that overall recorded crime has gone up, it’s reassuring to see it’s coming down in certain areas where we would be concerned.

“It’s of no surprise vehicle crime shot up because I was inundated with calls constantly and I know police did a good job of identifying people and cracking down on it.

“It does also show there is a lot of proactive policing going in the town, and yes the numbers are going up, but police are driving them up through the good work they are doing.”