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PCC says ‘rise’ in crime figures was not unexpected and there are still many positives to take

This week, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) released its yearly crime figures which show Nottinghamshire recorded an increase in crime during 2017-18, writes Paddy Tipping, police and crime commissioner for Nottinghamshire.

The rise is somewhat anticipated and reflects the hard work of the force to meet more rigorous standards of recording.

Paddy Tipping, Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire

Paddy Tipping, Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire

These changes have resulted in many previously uncategorised incidents being formally logged as crimes thus increasing overall figures.

Nottinghamshire recorded an all-crime increase of 18.6 per cent in the year up to March 2018.

But it is interesting to note the number of calls for assistance rose by just 1.9 per cent in the same period, proving officers are dealing with a different reality than these figures suggest.

Any rise is worrying and I’ve said for a long time that the impact of austerity will be painfully felt.

But there are positives to draw upon in these latest figures.

For example, firearms offences nationally have seen a rise of two per cent while in Nottinghamshire they have fallen by 29 per cent.

Knife crime has increased by a lower rate than the national average while rises in burglary and robbery are also considerably lower than national figures.

Data is useful but there is always a human cost to crime.

Behind every number is a victim.

Victims are paramount to me and I believe their experience should be treated with the seriousness it deserves regardless of the seriousness of the offence in the eyes of the law.

I appreciate the need for a risk-based approach to demand and prioritisation is a necessity.

We neither have the funding nor the resources to tackle every problem with the same intensity.

But everywhere I travel in this county I’m reminded of how deeply low level crime and antisocial behaviour affects people.

We should never underestimate the psychological and emotional effects of less serious crimes like theft, vandalism or burglary just because nobody is physically injured.

We’ve tried very hard to incorporate the victim’s perspective into everything we do.

Financial loss or emotional distress through crime can often set off a domino of problems for the victim and we all need to work together with all the agencies which can help solve them to reduce vulnerability.

We’re already doing this but there’s more work to do.