Violent crime in Kent increases by more than half in a year

Crime in Kent has risen by 27% in the space of a year, while violence and public order offences have increased by more than half since 2016.

The number of violent crimes and sex offences recorded by police has risen sharply throughout the whole of England and Wales according to the Office for National Statistics.

Kent Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Paul Brandon said: “We simply will not tolerate these types of offences and continually run operational campaigns not only to target those responsible and bring them to justice but also educate and prevent violent crime.”

Nationally, around 5.3 million crimes were recorded in 2016/2017, up 14% from the previous year, while in Kent overall crime increased by almost 90,000.

In the quarter starting in September last year, almost 33,000 crimes were recorded compared to the same quarter in 2016.

DCC Brandon added: “Improvements in crime recording and improved victim confidence in coming forward have played a significant part in these figures both in Kent and nationally.”

However, with falling numbers of police officers, the Home Office said that last year showed the lowest employment figures since comparable records began in 1996.

The rise in crime could be as a result of more people being able to report crime, or the force beginning to feel the strain of an increased workload.

DCC Brandon said: “The Police and Crime Commissioner’s funding proposals would enable the recruitment of up to 200 more police officers this year. This would strengthen and add to the force’s capability to tackle crime wherever it occurs across the county.”

He also credits the rise to the ways in which crime is investigated and reported.

‘”Previously if four people were found fighting outside of a nightclub and it was not clear who was in the right or wrong, one report of affray would have been recorded whereas now four counter allegations of assault and one of affray could be recorded.”

Data found that anti-social behaviour had decreased in Kent by 11% and drug offences had also reduced.

Although crime has increased, reoffending has remained at a consistently high level, READ more here.