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Violent crime on the rise

By Deborah McAleese

Crime in Northern Ireland, including violent crime, sex attacks and hate crime, has risen in the past 12 months, the PSNI's annual crime figures revealed today.

This is the first time in a number of years that overall crime in the province has increased.

According to police statistics for the 2008/09 financial year overall crime has risen by 1.5% with 110,094 crimes recorded by the PSNI in that time.

The PSNI said, however, that the level of crime recorded was the second lowest recorded in Northern Ireland in a decade.

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde today vowed that the increased dissident threat will not prevent police officers from tackling crime across the province.

He said: “Sadly, in the past 12 months there were five security related deaths, four more than the previous year and these include the first police and Army deaths since 1998.

“There was also an increase in shooting and bombing incidents.

“We have received additional funding to deal with the increase in the security threat and my officers are working hard to disrupt and bring to justice those who are involved in this criminal activity.

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“While the increased threat does impact upon the style and delivery of our service in some areas, we are determined that it will not prevent us working with communities to tackle crime and deal with issues that communities want us to deal with.”

There were 149 more violent crimes recorded over the past year and sex attacks increased by 6.6%. Robberies and burglaries have also increased while offences against the person and criminal damage have decreased.

There has been an increase in the number of overall crimes cleared by police from 20.5% to 23%. The clearance rate for murder has also increased to 83%.

“A huge amount of time and effort has been dedicated to investigating murders and serious crime by staff in Crime Operations Department and officers out in the Districts. It is clear that the establishment of Crime Operations has led to a more professional and co-ordinated approach to serious crime investigations,” Sir Orde said.

He added: “When I took up the post of Chief Constable in 2002 I was very clear that there was a need for the police to work in partnership with the community to prevent and drive down crime. Much of my time over the past seven years has been spent on improving the systems and structures we have in place to make sure we are effective in tackling crime. I think we are making progress; however, we still have some way to go.

“We will continue our efforts to prevent people becoming victims of crime and, where crimes occur, bringing those responsible to justice.”

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph