Overall crime in Havering rose last month compared to February last year - with spikes in reports of 'interfering with motor vehicle' offences.

Met Police data revealed there were 1,609 offences reported in the borough during February 2023 - ranking 25th in the city.

This number was at 1,516 in February 2022, and the average crime rate over the year in the borough has been at 1,648. 

But the borough ranked second highest in London for interfering with motor vehicle crimes last month, according to the figures.

There were 24 such reports within in the borough in February 2022, which rose sharply by more than 120 per cent to 53 in February 2023.

Read more: Tackling knife crime in Havering 'a priority': police chief

Shoplifting is another crime that has increased in Havering in recent months, the data suggests.

In January and February this year, around 275 cases were reported which is the highest it has been since July last year.

Reports of domestic burglary saw a marginal decline, as did arson and bicycle thefts. 

Heaton, St Edward’s and Gooshays were the top three wards that accounted for 34pc of reported crime in the borough.

Digging deeper into the numbers revealed a trend of certain crimes rising in some wards more than the others.

Gooshays, the borough's northernmost ward, had the highest cases of interfering with motor vehicles that went up from four cases in February 2022 to 13 last month.

Heaton saw a rise in shoplifiting and violence without injury cases, standing at 25 and 56 this February. The average rate for these crimes in the last 12 months in Heaton was 13 and 40 respectively.

St Alban’s and St Edward’s saw 12 and 26 possession of drugs reports respectively last month. The average rate for the crime in these wards over the last year stood at five and 21 respectively.

Labour councillor Jane Keane, from St Alban's ward, told the Recorder that she felt more resources were needed to do more to combat serious crime.

Cllr Keane said: "As a former town centre manager I have always been aware that a huge amount of diligent effort, at significant cost, goes into keeping people safe in town centres.

"There will always be demand for more CCTV and tech but as valuable as these tools are in dealing with crime – it is adequately resourced, well trained people and teams that make the difference."

She also encouraged more people to continue to report crimes.

Keith Darvill, Labour group leader and Heaton ward councillor, echoed the view that the police needs more resources and believed that the ward-level crime numbers must be looked at in the context of changes in the ward boundaries that took place last year.

Conservative councillor for St Edward's ward, Nisha Patel, told the Recorder that there might be more unreported offences and the true picture of crime rates in the borough could be darker.

She said: "We do need more police on our streets as I feel that things are only going to get worse in time."

The Metropolitan Police was contacted for comment but did not reply. 

Havering was allocated extra officers in November last year by the Met to combat knife crime as part of the scheme dubbed Project Yamhill.