Bad news for homeowners and shopkeepers as crime in St Albans rises by 24 per cent

PUBLISHED: 14:00 21 July 2017

St Albans has seen shoplifting rise by 62 per cent. Photo: DANNY LOO

St Albans has seen shoplifting rise by 62 per cent. Photo: DANNY LOO

Archant

It's bad news for homeowners and shopkeepers as figures show crime in St Albans has risen by 24 per cent this year.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has this morning released annual figures for recorded crime in England and Wales.

They show reported crimes in St Albans increased from 6,712 to 8,336, with shoplifting rising by 62 per cent.

A spokesperson for St Albans Business Improvement District (BID), which works with local traders, said: “The BID has met with Shopsafe this week who provide St Albans shopkeepers with radios, and will be meeting with the police and CCTV next week to better understand the statistics in the city.

“We know that membership of the scheme has fallen, and we are keen to encourage businesses throughout the district to work with the BID and the police to address this issue.

“While the national trend has increased we are aware that St Albans has seen a spike that we are looking to address in the coming weeks and months.”

Meanwhile vehicle offences rose by 28 per cent, and burglaries by three per cent.

Instances of criminal damage and arson increased by 23 per cent, while sexual offences rose by almost 20 per cent.

Just this week, arsonists torched a car on a Marshalswick driveway, trapping one person inside their home.

Herts Chief Constable Charlie Hall said: “We have placed great focus on the under-reporting of crime during the past year, and encouraging victims to come forward.

“There is evidence that victims of previously hidden crimes, such as domestic abuse and sexual offences, are becoming more confident than ever before in coming forward to report crimes, enabling the constabulary to ensure the longer term safety of victims.

“Most other forces across the country have experienced rises in recorded crime as the police service continues to improve recording practises, victim confidence and recording newer statutory offences such as malicious communication.”

The percentages are drawn from the ONS figures for recorded crime (excluding fraud) between March 2015 and March 2016, and between March 2016 and March 2017.

The figures can be found at www.ons.gov.uk

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