18% ‘spike’ in East Lindsey crime

Under pressure - but will the 'thin blue line' be reduced even further in Lincolnshire over next 12 months?
Under pressure - but will the 'thin blue line' be reduced even further in Lincolnshire over next 12 months?

Crime in East Lindsey rose by more than double the national average last year, but overall the area is still one of the safest places in the country to live.

Figures for crime in England and Wales were released last week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and showed an overall increase nationally of around 8%

According to details from the Press Association, across Lincolnshire the rise was 12% but in East Lindsey the figure was around 18%.

Despite that, data shows Lincolnshire is the fifth safest area in the country, while Horncastle is ranked among the safest towns of a comparable size.

The statistics relate to the 12-month period up to September 2018.

The number of robberies in East Lindsey increased by almost 50% with data showing there were 69 reported robberies in the 12 months up until last September.

Robberies can include muggings, as well as more serious attacks, such as hold ups with guns and knives.

The statistics are based on crimes recorded and the police and the ONS have urged caution in interpreting some of these figures.

However, statisticians said there appears to be a genuine across the board rise.

Over the period until last September, 8,911 crimes were recorded in East Lindsey.

That means there was a rate of 64 crimes per 1,000 residents during 2017-18, still below the England and Wales average of 85.

Gun and knife possession offences in East Lindsey rose by 12 to 88 incidents.

There were three homicides, which are murders or manslaughters. There were two cases of death or injury by dangerous driving.

Theft, one of the most high volume crimes, increased by 12%. Drugs related offences rose by 36%.

Criminal damage in East Lindsey, which includes arson and vandalising cars and houses, has gone up, from 999 incidents in 2016-17, to 1,190 in the latest figures.

While violence with injury, which includes assault, GBH and wounding, has risen, this could be due to improved police recording.

Similarly, sexual offences are hard to judge as many more victims are now coming forward due to a series of high profile cases.

In East Lindsey, there were 396 incidents recorded between October 2017 and September 2018, a 39% rise on the previous year, when 284 crimes were reported.

There were also 421 cases of stalking and harassment reported over the same period.

Lincolnshire’s Chief Constable Bill Skelly says: “Following an audit published last year by HMICFRS, changes to the way we record crime have definitely had an impact on our figures.

“Worryingly, there are some underlying rises in crime across the county. The increase in violence is particularly concerning with these incidents typically happening in the night-time economy and being alcohol-fuelled.

“We continue to provide the very best service we can to and will always support those that need us most.

“Unfortunately, I currently have to plan cuts to our service due to our long-standing funding deficit and that will inevitably mean I can’t deliver everything I wish to. I will continue to work hard with Commissioner Marc Jones.”