Uttlesford domestic abuse cases on rise

UTTLESFORD is the only district in Essex to see a rise in domestic violence, according to figures revealed by the Community Safety Partnership.

Although crime on the whole remains low in the district, cases of reported domestic violence rose by 7.9 per cent over the last year, from 467 to 504.

The figure means that nearly seven people in every 1000 experience the crime. Uttlesford was also the only district to experience a rise in anti-social behaviour.

Although the news will concern authorities, the Uttlesford Community Safety Partnership (UCSP) said that confidence in police and the reporting procedures within the area may be having an impact on the figures.

Speaking at a south community forum meeting at The Helena Romanes School, UCSP chairman, Alison Cowie, said: “You have to bear in mind that people feel more comfortable about reporting crime in Uttlesford, especially anti-social behaviour.

“Uttlesford is still a very very safe place to live, but we are committed to improving both sets of figures and we urge people to keep getting in touch to report crimes.”

The rise in anti-social crimes were also blamed on the how people perceive them, added Mrs Cowie.

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“For example, the public’s perception of anti-social behaviour is a teenager in a hooded top. But six out of 10 perpetrators are actually in a much older group,” she said.

“The oldest person in Essex with an ASBO is 85 – so it is not just a young person issue.”

The UCSP is made up of several organisations including Essex Police, Uttlesford District Council, NHS West Essex, the Police Authority, the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and the probation service.

Aiming to address the issues lies at the core of its objectives.

The mission statement is to “take the lead in making Uttlesford a safer and more pleasant environment in which to live, grow and prosper, by reducing crime and disorder, and addressing the related health, economic and social costs of crime”.

To report anti-social behaviour or any crime when it is not an emergency call Essex Police non-emergency number: 0300 333 4444. Otherwise call 999.

To contact your local anti-social behaviour co-ordinator call 01779 510546 or e-mail fgardiner@uttlesford.gov.uk or communitysafety@uttlesford.gov.uk

For more information on the UCSP visit the district council’s website uttlesford.gov.ukand search for community safety.