Violent and sexual crime up by more than 50 per cent in Northamptonshire in past year

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Bridge Street saturday night / sunday morning antics in Northampton town centre with the northants police...'NEWS CRIME POLICE DRUNK / DRINKERS / REVELLERS / ARRESTS / STOCK / OPERATION NIGHTSAFE / LIZ'guy complaining of chest pains - panick attacks - very drunk ENGNNL00120120103180000

The number of violent and sexual crimes in Northamptonshire has increased by 50 per cent in the past 12 months following a change in the way the force records crime, latest figures show.

Data due to be presented at a meeting of the Northamptonshire Police and Crime panel shows there were 11,133 recorded incidents of violent crime from March 2013 to March 2014, up by 3,785, or 51.5 per cent, on the same period in the previous year.

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The number of sexual recorded sexual crimes was 1,234, up by 58.8 per cent, equivalent to 457 more offences.

However, Northamptonshire Police has posted a reduction in the recorded number of burglary and theft from motor vehicle offences.

The total number of recorded crimes in the county was 45,682, up by 12.4 per cent on the previous year.

Last year a HMIC inspection of Northamptonshire Police’s crime data revealed the force was failing to record some serious offences.

In response, Chief Constable Adrian Lee said violent crime figures were likely to go up in 2014/15 as the force was now recording offences as violent crime “even if there were no injuries”.

In a report due to be presented next week, Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds said the figures showed an increase in violence but said the “majority of the offences were without injury”.

He said: “Data from partners does not indicate an escalation in injuries relating to violence suggesting that the county is not becoming more violent.

“Reducing violent crime remains a key priority for the force, and is at the heart of making Northamptonshire the safest place in England.

“The current levels are unacceptable, and I want police to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to those committing violence offences.

“Violence takes many different forms and requires us to be creative to address the problems in the long term.”