Crime has gone up in North Somerset with knives, drugs and violence all on the rise

PUBLISHED: 06:00 09 August 2017

North Somerset: Crime is on the rise.

North Somerset: Crime is on the rise.

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Drug, knife, and violent crime are all on the rise in North Somerset, as new data shows crime has gone up by 56 per cent since a change in how it is recorded by police.

In the past year, crime in North Somerset has gone up by 17 per cent, with offences involving the possession of weaopons almost doubling.

In 2016/17 a little more than 15,300 crimes were reported in the district, with police recording more home burglaries, knife crimes, and drug dealing.

Shoplifting has also increased by 35 per cent in the past year and there is now almost one sexual assault happening in North Somerset a day.

More than 30 per cent of all North Somerset crimes in 2016/17 involved violence, but the most common type of crime was theft, which accounted for almost 40 per cent of offences.

Local policing commander for North Somerset Chief Inspector Tina Robinson said: “It’s important communities understand the facts behind the numbers; statistics alone can be misleading and alarming and don’t necessarily reflect the true picture.”

She said police have seen crime increase nationwide, due to improvements in how crime is recorded which were introduced in 2014.

Police have seen success in tackling many issues in North Somerset; cycle theft has dropped by 23 per cent which means one bike is stolen for every 1,000 people in the district, theft from a person has fallen by nine per cent, and the number of recorded criminal damage and arson incidents has dropped by five per cent.

CI Robinson said police are working with their communities and partners to reduce crime, with a focus on antisocial behaviour and criminal damage.

The district experienced the third-sharpest rise in weapon possession offences in the country, and CI Robinson said organised crime is often to blame – which she added is being ‘proactively’ tackled.

She said: “These individuals often operate using intimidation in relation to rival drug networks. As a result there have been arrests for weapon offences in addition to those relating to drug dealing.

“It is important to note these tactics of violence and intimidation are in the main used between rival drug networks and not directed at the public.”

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