Robberies gone up by more than 20% in Redbridge

Police at Ilford Station. Picture: PA

Police at Ilford Station. Picture: PA - Credit: Archant

An Ilford MP said police do not have the resources to follow up on “run of the mill” crimes after robberies in Redbridge increased by more than 20per cent in 12 months.

According to police statistics, collated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were 1,069 reported robberies in 2018 compared to 886 in 2017.

Mike Gapes, Ilford South Independent Group MP said officers have been forced to prioritise more serious crimes due to lack of resources.

“I think what is happening here is that the police are concentrating resources on high-end and violent crimes because of cuts,” he said.

“Other things are not getting the attention they deserve because of the pressure they are under.

“The issues that I am also concerned about is clean up rates - a crime is reported but the police don’t have the resource to follow run of the mill crimes up.”

The MP said there is one good thing to come out of the data, and the rate of 78 crimes per 1,000 Redbridge residents during 2018 was below the England and Wales average of 88.

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However, he believes more needs to be done.

“Seeing the figure confirms what I am aware off, I get reports on this all the time,” he added.

“The stats on knife crime are very worrying as are other issues that police have to deal with like aggressive behaviour around Ilford station and prostitution on Ilford lane all which require a presence and not a sporadic presence.

“They haven’t got the resources to deal with that.”

Police also classify muggings and hold-ups with guns and knives as robberies.

ONS urges caution in interpreting some of these figures but maintains that there appears to be a genuine rise in robberies in the borough.

Alexa Bradley, ONS centre for crime and justice, said: “When we look at the overall level of crime, there has been no significant change over the last year.

“However, it is important to look at each crime type.

“Robbery and vehicle offences have increased whereas burglary has decreased.

“Lower-volume, high-harm violence involving knives has risen, whereas offences involving firearms have decreased.”

Overall police stats show that crime in Redbridge increased in 2018 by 2pc with 23,488 crimes recorded.

Gun and knife possession offences rose by 14, to 161 incidents and there were five homicide and one case of death or injury by dangerous driving.

Theft, one of the most high volume crimes, slightly decreased by 1pc during the same 12 month period and drugs-related offences slightly dropped by 4pc.

Chief Constable Bill Skelly, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “Rising crime, increased terrorist activity and fewer police officers have put serious strain on the policing we offer to the public.

“We are determining the additional capabilities and investment we need to drive down violence and catch more criminals - and we will make the case at the next Government Spending Review.”

Policing minister Nick Hurd added: “New statistics show that your chance of being a victim of crime remains low.

“Yet too many people are still falling victim to serious violence, which is why we will continue our urgent and unprecedented action to reverse this terrible trend.

“We have given police forces additional powers and have this year put more than £1 billion extra into policing.”