Police say Uttlesford remains ‘a safe place to live’ despite increase in reported crime

PUBLISHED: 08:48 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:33 06 August 2018

Archant

The number of people caught with guns and knives in Uttlesford has almost doubled, according to the latest police recorded crime statistics.

There were 855 weapons possession offences between April 2017 and March 2018, according to data by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). These can include hand guns, knives and even corrosive acid.

That figure is up 85.5 per cent on 2016-17, when 461 incidents were recorded in the district.

The statistics are based on crimes reported to the police, and the ONS urges caution in interpreting some of these figures.

Some offences go unreported while others may be more numerous due to a change in the focus of the police or greater public attention.

During the last year 5,610 crimes were recorded in Uttlesford, up by 28 per cent on 2016-17, including 380 residential burglaries. Due to a change in how the ONS categorises burglaries, the localised figure cannot be compared with other years.

Theft, one of the most high volume crimes, has increased by nine per cent and drugs-related offences dropped by 6.8 per cent.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Uttlesford is a safe district in a safe county, with a much lower level of crime than the national average. These crime statistics show that some types of crime are increasing nationally, including in Essex. Levels of crime right across the county are similar to the average for England and Wales, meaning Essex remains a safe part of the country.

“We are, however, particularly concerned about increases in violent crime and sexual offences which are rising in Uttlesford and across the country. That’s why we’ve invested in specialist teams and it’s why 150 more police officers will be on Essex streets in the next year.

“Crime in Uttlesford remains low, with fewer than four violent offences (including domestic violence) for every 1,000 people living in the district in the last year and around five burglaries for every 1,000 people.

“Burglary is down four per cent across Essex, the only place in the East of England where burglary is reducing.

“The best way to stop crime is to prevent it from happening in the first place. We have a range of crime prevention advice on our website at https://www.essex.police.uk/advice.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Send your thoughts to editor@saffronwalden-reporter@archant.co.uk.

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