Belfast Telegraph

North Belfast crime on the rise

By Bob Malcolm

There has been a significant spike in numerous forms of crime in north Belfast in the period of April to August 2013 compared to the same period last year.

In total there were 394 (3,492 compared to 3,098) more recorded crimes in the north Belfast policing area between April and August this year, according to new PSNI figures.

In all there has been a 12.7% increase in recorded crime across north Belfast, compared to a 4.3% increase across Northern Ireland.

There has been a 9.7% increase in violent crimes "against the person". There were 919 between April and August 2012 compared to 1,008 this year.

There was a 7.1% rise in violent crimes causing injury – including murder/homicide – and a 12.2% increase in violent crimes that ended without injury.

Recorded sexual offences in north Belfast remained static at 47 during both periods of time.

There were seven more robberies recorded in north Belfast in 2013 – 55 compared to 48 last year.

The number of thefts in north Belfast shot up by 14% in 2013 with 1,161 recorded offences compared to 1,018 in 2012.

Domestic burglaries saw an increase from 249 to 259 – a 4% increase.

Thefts against people dropped from 26 to 25.

There was a significant increase in vehicle theft (159 compared to 139 in 2012) but fewer bikes were recorded stolen this year compared to last – 39 versus 33.

There was a 25.6% rise in recorded shoplifting offences and a 23.4% increase in all other theft offences.

Criminal damage increased by 10.4% in north Belfast.

There was a 12.8% increase in drug offences.

There were 74 public order offences in north Belfast this year, compared to 81 last year.

Recorded instances of fraud remained static at 26 during each period.

DUP Belfast city councillor, and member of the North Belfast Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Guy Spence said: "It is concerning that crime in North Belfast has risen within the last year; especially around areas such as violent crime, robberies/theft and drug offences..

"These figures have come to the North Belfast PCSP, and it is important that we as a partnership do all that we can, not only in ensuring that the perpetrators are caught – but also seek to prevent such crime from taking place.

"There is a responsibility on all of us as a community to unite together and ensure that such crime within our community can be not only reported but prevented.

"I will be meeting with Police personnel locally within the next few weeks, I will be urging them to continue the good work which has been occurring within communities and will seek to have such work extended beyond the current remit.

"I would urge anyone who has any information to contact the Police or the Crimestoppers Charity anonymously, it is important that perpetrators of crime are brought to justice," he added.

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