Crime Report: Barking and Dagenham

The crime rate in Barking and Dagenham is generally in line with the average London level but the borough has a higher level of serious offences.

There were 154 rapes in the borough in the year to the end of March 2015. That’s 30% above the London average. There were 607 assaults causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) and 1,350 assaults causing injury, pushing both these offences well above the city-wide average.

Crime report Barking and D

While crimes against people are above average in the borough property crimes such as theft and robbery are below.

With a total of 16,000 crimes committed over the 12 months to March 2015 Barking and Dagenham recorded 80 crimes per 1000 people. The average for London is 81.

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More crime reports

Police say violent crime is up, but it may be the way it’s recorded

police hi viz jacketsViolent assault in London jumped by a fifth in the past year, according to data from the Metropolitan Police. There were nearly 70,000 recorded assaults causing injury, or in the more serious cases, grievous bodily harm in the year to March.

Harassment and common assault, which covers the threat of being hurt, were up by 38%. And sexual offences rose by a third to 15,000.

The overall crime rate in London has remained static at 700,000 offences.  While crimes against people went up there was better news for crimes against property with theft down 7%, burglary down 14% and a 22% fall in robbery.

Crime chart March 2015

But the rising figures that give a frightening picture of life on the streets of London may be a product of the way crime is being recorded by the police.

The Met, along with other police services, was criticised last year by HM Inspector of Constabulary for under-recording many serious offences.  As a result, recording procedures have  improved.  In evidence to the Greater London Authority Police and Crime Committee last autumn the Met said that the number of reports of violent incidents recorded as crimes has risen from 40% in 2012 to 75%.  Assistant Commissioner Helen Knight also said that a third of assault cases were the result of domestic abuse, which is now much better recorded.

Figures from the London Ambulance Service, reported by Urbs, give a different picture of violent crime.  Its records show that crews attended 20% fewer incidents that they believed to be assaults in the last year. The difference in levels may indicate that they attend only the more serious incidents.

Crime Assault comparison

Many experts are sceptical of the ability of police recording to accurately reflect true levels of crime and prefer to use the Crime Survey of England and Wales, which interviews 50,000 people about their experience. It finds that violent crime is on a downward trend.

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Fall in assaults makes city safer

hLondon is becoming a safer city.  There has been a 40% drop in assaults where an ambulance was called to deal with injuries in the last 4 years. The past year alone has seen a 20% reduction.

Data from the London Ambulance Service shows that in the year ending February 2015 ambulance crews and paramedics attended 26,000 calls to treat assault injuries. In 2011 it was 46,000 incidents.  Assaults on women and teenagers are falling in line with the general trend.

There are also fewer incidents involving weapons. Gun shot injuries are down 50% over 4 years.  Knife crime saw dramatic falls between 2011 and 2013 but has gone back up a little in recent months.  In the year ending February 2015 there were 1,500 knife wounding incidents dealt with by the ambulance service.

 

The assault figures are down in every borough. Harrow has seen the most significant improvement where the fall is 37%.  In Tower Hamlets it is 14%.  In attacks on teenagers, seen as a particularly vulnerable group, there is good news across the city, except in Greenwich, where the numbers were slightly up.

The data on knife injuries shows a less uniform picture. Lambeth and Southwark have the highest number but there’s been a reduction in the past twelve months.  Hackney and Haringey also have significant numbers and the rate there has increased.

 

Source data

Note: The data is based on retrospective reporting by ambulance crews/paramedics and 999 call handlers of incidents where they judged an assault had taken place.