‘Ripping communities apart’: Crime on the rise in Redbridge, figures show

Test purchasers were sent to 120 shops in the borough last year to check whether they would sell kni

Test purchasers were sent to 120 shops in the borough last year to check whether they would sell knives to under 18s. Picture: KATIE COLLINS/PA ARCHIVE/PA IMAGES - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Violent crime is rising in the borough, the latest figures have revealed.

In total there were 23,646 crimes reported in the borough in the last financial year, according to figures released on Thursday by the Office for National Statistics.

The borough has the twentieth highest number across London with Westminster seeing the most with 57,496 crimes. The City of London saw the least (5,392).

There were five killings during that period with robberies (944), sex offences (536) and injury from violence (2,140) rising compared to the year before. The year to March 2017 saw two homicides in the borough.

There were 2,596 burglaries to March 2018.

Asst Com Martin Hewitt, responsible for frontline policing, said: “The Met continues to experience a very busy and challenging time against the backdrop of significant reductions in resources.

“I am very concerned about the rise in crime in the capital, particularly murder, violent crime and knife crime.

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“My thoughts are with the victims’ families of these tragic and horrific crimes which have brought untold misery to countless people.”

Cllr Robert Littlewood, the council’s crime and safety chief, said: “We work closely with the police and our partners to reduce crime in the borough and undertake a wide range of work to support crime reduction. This includes supporting vulnerable people and targeted work with offenders, a £1.5million investment in CCTV and increasing the number of enforcement officers on our streets.

“We are also urging the government to reverse the £1bn in cuts to our policing services which seriously affect Redbridge.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “These latest national statistics confirm that violent crime is ripping communities apart and devastating too many lives.

“And they confirm the terrible consequences of a government in denial about the terrible impact its cuts have had in tackling crime and its causes.

“The figures must surely serve as a wake-up call for the government to change its ways.”

Police minister Nick Hurd said: “Every violent crime is a significant concern and the government is taking decisive action to tackle it.

“We recognise crime is changing and that police demand is becoming increasingly complex.”

He welcomed a shift towards people reporting hidden crimes and that more victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence felt empowered to come forward.

Businesses were hit with 1,139 cases of shoplifting, up slightly on the previous year’s total of 1,127. There were 1,290 cases of stalking or harrassment the year to March 2018 compared to 1,168 for the 12 months before.

And thefts from people rose from 552 to 776 in the last financial year.