Community Safety overview
The 2018 strategic assessment states: Crime has been increasing in recent years, with a 30% increase from 2015/16 to 2017/18. The peak crime categories include assault with injury, assault without injury, criminal damage, other theft and shoplifting. These categories account for over half of all volume of crime.
When looking at crime in a different perspective – harm – and using the ONS Crime Severity Tool, these volume crimes account for 20% of harm across the county. Using the ONS Crime Severity Tool to look at the most harmful crime categories, gives a different picture to that mentioned above. The most harmful crime types include residential and commercial burglary, assaults, wounding, rape, robbery and sexual activity involving a child. These crimes account for 25% of the volume, but 68% of harm. Investigations into the most harmful crimes are also the most resource intensive, not just for the police, but for partners as well. Usually, the score for each partnership can be seen on page 3 of the community safety dashboard, but Lancashire Constabulary were unable to supply 2018/19 data due to technical difficulties.
As part of the strategic process a Living in Lancashire survey was conducted, sending out 2,916 questionnaires to residents across Lancashire. There was a 68% (1,991) response rate with all community safety, crime and policing questions answered by respondents. Analysis of the results found the following highlights:
- 85% of respondents felt safe in their local area – with the age group of 60 yrs+ feeling most safe (88%).
- A lack of police presence (14%) was the most significant reason why respondents felt unsafe in their local area.
- More than three-quarters of respondents felt that issues with violence, sexual exploitation and organised crime were not a big problem.
- 38% of respondents felt that burglary, with half of respondents aged 25-44 years, was a problem.
- 53% felt drug dealing was a problem in their area, with respondents aged 25-59 years having most concern.
- Dangerous driving was seen as a big problem for 49% of respondents (increase from previous survey).
- Less than half of respondents felt that the police and other local public services are dealing with crime and ASB successfully – this has been reducing in recent surveys.
- Cleanliness of the streets (34%) and access to green areas (12%) were issues that had increased in dissatisfaction in local communities.
Crime in England and Wales 2018/19
The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) for 12 months ending March 2019 shows a stable picture for all crime across the Country. However, this hides variation in individual crime types, with continued rises in some types of theft and fraud and falls in computer misuse. There were also increases in some of the less frequently occurring but higher-harm types of violence, including offences involving knives and sharp instruments.
Latest full year figures from the Home Office for 2018/19 on police recorded crime show that there were 165,368 crimes (excluding fraud) in the Lancashire-14 area. This represents a 30% increase (38,340 more crimes) in the Lancashire-14 area compared with 2017/18. This is significantly higher than the England and Wales increase of 8% and the second highest increase across all the police forces. Lancashire now has the 5th highest rate per thousand population of crime in England and Wales. Violence against the person increased by 53% (+63,324 crimes), driven by a 120% increase in stalking and harassment. This is likely to be due to improvements in recording these crimes.
Data for Community Safety Partnerships areas has been published with a caveat that not all data has been recorded at this level in Lancashire. Nevertheless, it shows that in the year ending June 2019, Blackpool had the second highest recorded total crime rate per thousand population of the 313 CSPs in England and Wales and the highest rate of violence against the person and sexual offences. Burnley had the 11th highest rate of total recorded crime and the second highest rate of residential burglary of the 313 England and Wales CSPs. Preston and Hyndburn also had violence against the person rates in the worst 10% of CSPs.
Please note, there have been changes both in categories recorded and in recording practice which have significantly impacted the figures. The crime data integrity re-inspection 2019 judged that Lancashire Constabulary has significantly improved its crime-recording arrangements since the 2017 inspection and is therefore recording more crime. Lancashire Constabulary moved to a new crime recording system in November 2018.
A dashboard detailing the recorded crime data is available to view on the dashboard page.
See further analysis download below.
Page updated December 2019