Police concerned over rise in number of town violent crimes

Chief Inspector Justina Beeken
Chief Inspector Justina Beeken

Sussex Police has admitted concerns over a rise in the number of violent crimes being committed in Crawley.

Police figures showed the number of violent crimes causing injury in public are predicted to rise by around 100 cases per year compared to two years ago.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said greater reporting of domestic abuse could explain the rise.

He said: “This is a trend that concerns us but with the exception of greater reporting of domestic abuse there is nothing to indicate a specific reason or pattern.

“We are encouraging people to report these crimes which may have contributed to the rise and we will continue to work towards driving the figure down.”

The proportion of public violent offences causing injury linked to domestic abuse rose from 31 per cent to 43 per cent over three years.

This amounts to a rise of some 120 cases over a year.

More than 300 such offences are expected to be reported in Crawley from April 2013 to April 2014.

Chief Inspector Justina Beeken, Crawley district policing commander, said the statistics showed the stigma of reporting domestic abuse was falling.

She said: “While this highlights the problem of domestic abuse, it also confirms our belief that the stigma of reporting this crime is less of an issue now.”

Sussex Police figures also revealed a rise in violent crimes that did not necessarily cause injury, including murder and hate crime.

A total of 1,340 violent crimes were recorded from April to December 2013.

The total is predicted to match the 1,788 recorded in 2012/13, which exceeded the 1,639 reported the year before.

Chief Inspector Beeken said: “All such crimes are treated seriously and we will continue to work with our partners to reduce that number in Crawley to bring justice for those who unfortunately become victims.”

The period 2013/14 domestic abuse figures included anyone aged 16 and over.

Previously it was for ages 18 and over.