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Borough Commander defends rise in reported crime in Havering

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 August 2016 | UPDATED: 07:14 02 August 2016

Borough commander Jason Gwillim

Borough commander Jason Gwillim

Archant

Havering had the second highest increase in reported crimes in London last year, according to a new report.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last week show 16,792 crimes were reported in the borough in the 12 months since March 2015, a 10 per cent increase on last year’s 15,233.

Incidents of public order offences rose by 28pc, violence without injury was up 44pc, and bicycle theft rose by a staggering 48pc.

The only borough to suffer a bigger spike in the total number of reported crimes was Lewisham, where reported crime rose by 12pc.

However, Havering Borough Commander Jason Gwillim stressed the figures might not paint a clear picture of the borough’s criminal landscape, as the methods used to monitor incidents have become more thorough.

He said: “Every year we improve how we record crimes in our area, so trying to build a picture year-on-year is difficult.

“But every year the British Crime Survey releases figures estimating exactly how much crime, both reported and unreported, has been committed, so what I’m hoping for is that when those figures are released we see we are closing the gap between what’s reported and what’s happening.”

It’s not all doom and gloom however, as the Chief Superintendant also revealed that seven key neighbourhood crimes identified by former London Mayor Boris Johnson are decreasing.

These crimes, which include violence with injury, theft, criminal damage and burglary, among others, are down 13pc over the last four years.

The ONS figures released last month also revealed an impressive 15pc reduction in domestic burglaries in the borough, with incidents of theft from the person also falling 8pc.

Ch Supt Gwillim said: “In Havering we’ve placed a particular emphasis on what we call ‘cocooning’ an area after a burglary, where we inform neighbours that a burglary has occurred and advise them what to keep an eye out for.

“We’ve also been using our MetTrace initiative to highlight areas where burglary is a common problem, go into that area and offer residents the chance to have their property specially marked to make it easier to recover.”

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