Crime figures for 2015/16 released by Thames Valley Police on Thursday 28th April 2016 show that there were 129,611 crimes reported across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire from April 2015 until the end of March 2016.
The is the first increase in overall crime in 10 years which is reflected nationally (ONS Crime Survey of England and Wales) and is, largely, attributed to a change in recording practices as set out by the Home Office.
Compared with five and ten years ago overall crime levels in Thames Valley remain low with 67,000 fewer crimes reported this year than in 2005/2006 and 39,000 fewer than in 2010/2011.
Overall calls to our enquiry centres have reduced compared with the previous year down by around 8,500 (-1.5%) with calls for service in respect of crimes falling by over 10,500 (-8.9%).
Violence against the person has increased by 30.3 per cent on last year to 28,319 however calls to Thames Valley Police for violent crime are down 12.5%.
Thames Valley Police do not believe that this does not reflect an actual increase in violence in the Thames Valley and say this is supported by the most recent Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) which says ‘the estimate for violent crime showed no statistically significant change compared with the previous year’s survey‘.
Last year the Thames Valley had the 7th lowest level of recorded violent crime per 1,000 population in England and Wales. We are confident that this position has not changed. This is supported by the latest Crime Survey of England and Wales release of crime statistics for England and Wales.
Thames Valley Police have seen a 21.4% increase in recording of sexual offences, with a 37.3% increase in report of rape.
Thames Valley Police have also seen increased reports of domestic abuse related crime with a 19.5% increase.
Alongside their community partners Thames Valley Police have said that they are continuing to work hard to encourage reporting of domestic abuse and sexual offences. This has led to the growing confidence of victims to come forward to report incidents particularly in relation to sexual offences and domestic abuse. This has been supported by Thames Valley campaigns such as #consentiseverything and #behindcloseddoors
Thames Valley Police have have seen an increase of over 490 prosecutions in relation to domestic abuse on last year to 3,193.
While Thames Valley Police have seen an increase in the number of hate crimes they believe that incidents remain unreported and expect to see further rises in this category of crime in the future as the public gains greater confidence in how this type of crime is dealt with. The Thames Valley Police victim satisfaction rate in relation to this crime type has increased by around 5% to 81.1% overall.
Dwelling burglary continues to fall and is at 42 year low with just 4,379 in 2015/16 a drop of 1.5% on the previous year. Burglary (non-dwelling) has dropped by 3.9%.
Robbery has increased by 7.6% on last year, but has fallen by over 50% compared with the levels seen 5 and 10 years ago.
Anti-social behaviour has fallen significantly in the past five years. There were over 44,000 less incidents this year compared with 2010/11, with just 34,404 recorded this year.
Deputy Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police John Campbell, said: ‘I am proud of the work our officers are doing to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities and our contribution to making the Thames Valley a safe place to live and work.
Our work would not be possible without the close support of our community partners and the public.
And we promise that we will keep engaging with communities and our partners to target our resources on the crimes of greatest concern to the public and where we can be most effective.
I believe that the rise that we have seen this year in the reporting of domestic abuse and sexual offences demonstrates the growing confidence of victims that they will be treated with compassion and sensitivity by our officers.
Despite the increases in Violent crime on last year, which may on the face appear to be concerning, we are confident that the increases are down to better recording, and that the Thames Valley has some of the lowest levels of violent crime in the country.
It is pleasing to see that the burglary of homes continues to fall. The impact of someone breaking into your home can never be underestimated, and keeping levels of burglary low will remain a priority.
Along with better recording practices, and increased reporting confidence we are building a truer and richer picture of crime in the Thames Valley Police area.
The HMIC’s latest report rated Thames Valley Police as good across all areas of policing, and our victim satisfaction remains high at 88.4%.
We were only one of just five forces to be rated as such.
As a Force we will continue to transform and innovate in order to protect the vulnerable, keep communities safe, bring criminals to justice and create a modern service which can tackle the changing face of crime.‘
The crime summary, including a breakdown of LPA statistics, can be viewed at the following link : http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/thames_valley_crime_summary_2015-16.pdf
Performance figure can be viewed at the following link : http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/aboutus/aboutus-operf/aboutus-operf-figs.
The data provided above is taken from the crime recording system used by Thames Valley Police however this is a dynamic system and additional information identified during the investigation may lead to a reassessment of the crime classification. Information held on the system is also subject to review to ensure compliance with the Home Office Counting Rules for Recording Crime and the National Crime Recording Standard. As a result of this crime levels and classifications may change over time and this data may not match data previously published or data published in the future. For this reason, the data should only be used as an indicator of crime trends.