Stalking fuels huge rise in violent crime in Blackpool

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Violent crime has risen in Blackpool over the last year, amid warnings of an epidemic sweeping the country.


The Police Federation said officers across England and Wales were struggling to “deliver the basics”, and warned the benefits of promised new recruits would not be felt for some time.

An increase in reported cases of stalking is one of the factors behind a rise in crime in Blackpool

An increase in reported cases of stalking is one of the factors behind a rise in crime in Blackpool

Lancashire recorded 11,048 incidents of violent crime in Blackpool in the 12 months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was an increase of 15 per cent compared to the previous year.

At 79.3 crimes per 1,000 people, that’s far higher than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 28.7.

One of the main factors behind the increase was the increase in stalking and harassment, which rose by 36 per cent, from 2,180 incidents to 2,965.

Offences of violence without injury were recorded 4,353 times, an increase of 22 per cent on the previous year, and violence with injury on 3,727 occasions, down by four per cent.

There were also three homicides, which include murders and manslaughters, up by two on the previous year.

Overall, police recorded seven per cent more crime across England and Wales – there were more than six million offences in the 12 months to June.

The biggest hike was in stalking and harassment , which jumped by 37 per cent to 459,000.

However, the ONS said improvements to reporting and recording practices by police could be behind the increase.

Responding to the national figures, John Apter, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “These figures once again come as no surprise as officers continue to struggle to deal with delivering the basics in policing which is incredibly frustrating for them.

“With forces snowed under by demand, unable to answer all 999 calls in some cases, chiefs are having to make some difficult decisions over which services need to be reined back.”

The total number of offences in Blackpool increased by nine per cent, with police recording 27,471 crimes over the course of the year.

This puts the overall crime rate at 197.2 per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 89.3.

Other crimes recorded in Blackpool included:
• 869 sexual offences, a decrease of eight per cent
• 6,693 theft offences, a decrease of 20 per cent
• 3,040 incidents of criminal damage and arson, down eight per cent
• 447 drug offences, down two per cent
• 154 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, up 32 per cent
• 2,757 public order offences, up 56 per cent
• There was also a seven per cent increase in incidents involving knives or sharp incidents across England and Wales.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for crime, Chief Constable Andy Cooke, said while the rise was concerning, use of targeted stop and search and other measures had helped reduce the rate of increase.

He said: “In the past few years cuts to policing have meant we’ve become more reactive to crime. With the recruitment of additional officers we will have more people on the beat and more people investigating and preventing crime.

“I am also concerned by increases in other offences, and that too few crimes are being solved and brought to court for justice to be done.

“This is a symptom of the strain on policing as we try to manage growing crime and demand that is ever more complex.”

Violent crime has risen in Blackpool over the last year, amid warnings of an epidemic sweeping the country.

The Police Federation said officers across England and Wales were struggling to “deliver the basics”, and warned the benefits of promised new recruits would not be felt for some time.