Newcastle city centre saw more crime recorded last year than any other area of the North East.
According to official police data, the City Centre and Arthur’s Hill area saw 13,657 offences – that’s the most of any neighbourhood in our region. The area had 599 crimes for every 1,000 residents – including the North East’s highest rates of theft and anti-social behaviour.
Despite this, the area of Middlesbrough Central had fewer crimes overall, but more per person. That area had a shocking 680 offences per 1,000 people – giving it not just the highest rate of crime in the North East but also the 16th highest rate in England and Wales.
The figures also show that Central Darlington has the highest rate of drug crime in the region and the third highest crime rate overall – 491 crimes per 1,000 residents. At the other end of the scale, you’re least likely to experience crime in Darras Hall, Stamfordham & Heddon in Northumberland.
In that leafy enclave, there were just 186 crimes committed last year. That works out at just 23 for every 1,000 people living there.
Nationally, the highest crime rate is in the central London neighbourhood of Fitzrovia West & Soho where there were an astonishing 3,500 crimes committed per 1,000 people.
Northumbria Police’s Chief Inspector David Wheeler said the results weren’t surprising given the nature of Newcastle’s busy city centre, but that work was always ongoing to keep people in the city safe. He said: “As Newcastle has a busy city centre with high footfall and Arthur’s Hill is also a highly populated area, it is not surprising that more crime is recorded here compared to elsewhere in [the force area].
“We also understand the significant impact that instances of theft and the anti-social behaviour of a few can have on the communities we serve. We take every crime reported to us seriously and have a number of initiatives in place to ensure that that Newcastle remains one of the safest cities in the country.”
For example, Ch Insp Wheeler said Operation Cloak had been “highly successful” in protecting vulnerable people from crime at night – it has seen plain clothes police officers deployed across the night-time economy.
He added: “We have also had success with a number of other proactive operations across the city which continue to make a real difference to residents. We will continue our proactive and creative approach in tackling this kind of criminality and work closely with partners to ensure hotspot areas are identified.”
Diana Fawcett, chief executive at the charity Victim Support, said the figures highlighted how it was vital to properly resource police forces. She said: “Around one in five of us will become a victim of crime each year and the impact can be devastating. From disturbing people’s basic sense of safety and security, to turning lives upside down.”
Six of the ten neighbourhoods with the highest rates of crime are in are in London, with Leeds, Birmingham, Blackburn and Leicester also having high rates in their centres. The safest place to live appears to be Cheshire – all ten of the areas with the lowest rates of crime were in the north west county.
DCC Claire Parmenter, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for neighbourhood policing added: “Neighbourhood policing is a vital part of how we gather intelligence and prevent crime. Working with local communities and partners to problem solve, tackle anti-social behaviour, supporting victims of domestic abuse, and diverting young people from offending are just some examples of the challenging and rewarding work officers do.”
Anyone who has been a victim of crime can contact Victim Support by using the charity’s free, 24/7 Supportline or by using Live Chat on the website, victimsupport.org.uk.
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