Violent crime has risen in Doncaster with almost 13,000 cases in a year

Violent crime has risen in Doncaster over the last year, despite an overall drop in recorded offences.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 9:00 pm

South Yorkshire Police recorded 12,784 incidents of violent crime in Doncaster in the 12 months to December, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was an increase of six per cent compared to the previous year.

At 41 crimes per 1,000 people, that was far higher than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 30.

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Offences of violence without injury were recorded 4,095 times, an increase of six per cent% on the previous year, and violence with injury on 3,526 occasions, down by nine per cent.

There were three homicides, which include murders and manslaughters, down by two on the previous 12 months.

Overall, police recorded eight per cent fewer crimes across England and Wales – there were around 5.6 million offences in the year to December.

The ONS said the annual drop was mainly driven by a “substantial fall” in crime of 15 per cent between April and June as the first lockdown restrictions were introduced.

While police-recorded crimes increased from July to September as restrictions were gradually eased, they fell again in the last three months of the year as lockdown measures were reimposed, it added.

Sophie Sanders, of the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice, said: “There were fluctuations in the level of crime experienced in England and Wales throughout 2020.

“Although a small proportion of these fluctuations will be the result of seasonal effects on crime trends, the majority can be attributed to the introduction and subsequent easing of national lockdown restrictions throughout the year.

“Most crime types have seen recorded offences fall year-on-year. The notable exceptions are drug offences, because of proactive police activity in crime hotspots during the first lockdown, while violence against the person also saw a small increase.”

The total number of offences in Doncaster fell by five per cent with police recording 36,157 crimes over the course of the year.

This puts the overall crime rate at 115.9 per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 80.8.

Other crimes recorded in Doncaster included:

946 sexual offences, a decrease of two per cent;

11,369 theft offences, down 18 per cent;

4,193 incidents of criminal damage and arson, down eight per cent;

926 drug offences, up six per cent;

383 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, down 13 per cent;

3,797 public order offences, up 14 per cent.

Crest Advisory, a criminal justice consultancy, said it is not surprising that crime patterns were "hugely affected" by the unprecedented restrictions of the pandemic.

Danny Shaw, head of strategy and insight at the organisation, added: "The rise in drugs offences was principally due to greater police activity in tackling dealers and organised crime gangs, who were also easier to spot with fewer people out on the street.

"The increase in reports of domestic abuse may well be linked to lockdown, when people in abusive relationships were forced to spend long periods together."

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.