Revealed: Vehicle and possession of weapons offences increased in Havering this year
PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 August 2019
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A Havering chief inspector has said that a rise in possession of weapons incidents is a positive reflection on the increased use of stop and search in the borough.
Overall crime levels in the borough increased slightly year-on-year according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
There were 18,796 reported offences during the 12 months to March 2019, in comparison to 2018 when 18,741 incidents were recorded.
That means there were 73 crimes per 1,000 residents during 2018-19 which is below the England and Wales average of 89.
Vehicle offences increased from 2,581 incidents in 2018 to 3,041 incidents in 2019 - an 18per cent increase.
Possession of weapons offences in the borough also rose from 148 to 178 incidents.
These include knives, hand guns and even corrosive acid.
Incidents of stalking and harassment rose by 21pc, with 246 more incidents being reported in 2019.
However, Burglaries saw a drop of 18pc in reported incidents, and a 22pc drop in residential burglaries.
Ch Insp Lisa Butterfield, partnership unit for the Romford town, said: "The Havering crime figures demonstrate that an important part of policing is not just responding to calls, reporting and investigating crime, but what we do in communities around crime prevention and target hardening to reduce opportunities for criminals.
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"The reduction in burglary is a good measure of how partnership crime reduction measures can help to reduce crime.
"Local police teams have been working hard with partners and volunteer groups to inform communities how to improve home and personal safety.
"Where we have seen increases in stalking, harassment and possession of weapons we have worked hard to improve victims confidence to report.
"Much of this includes long term work to safeguard and support victims with partners and volunteer groups."
Criminal damage in the borough, which includes arson and vandalising cars and houses, has gone down, from 1,714 incidents in 2017-18, to 1,397.
Violence with injury crimes, which include assault, GBH and wounding, also dropped.
Theft in Havering, one of the most high volume crimes, decreased by 1pc and drugs related offences rose by 4pc.
Ch Insp Butterfield added: "An increase in possession of weapons reflects that officers have increased appropriate use of stop and search, just one tactic in our commitment to tackle violent crime.
"This increase in crime also equates to fewer weapons on our street.
"Whilst this is a positive reflection of policing in Havering, we are continuing to work hard over the summer to keep people feeling safe and confident in Havering."
The latest statistics are based on crimes reported to the police, and the ONS urges caution in interpreting some of these figures.