Dramatic rise in reports of sexual and violent crimes in south west Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 15:01 11 February 2016 | UPDATED: 15:01 11 February 2016
The number of violent and sexual crimes being reported in south west Ipswich has more than quadrupled over the past two years.
Police chiefs have put the dramatic rise down to an increased confidence in victims to report these offences and because of changes in the way crimes are recorded nationally.
The statistics include rape, sexual assault, grooming, trafficking, exposure, assault, murder and attempted murder, manslaughter, harassment, stalking, modern slavery and kidnapping.
In November 2015, 105 crimes of this nature were reported to Suffolk Constabulary, according to police data provided to Ipswich Borough Council. This was a rise of more than 78% from November 2013, when 23 violent and sexual offences were logged by the force.
Detective Chief Inspector Barry Byford, of Suffolk Constabulary, said the reports of sexual offences in south west Ipswich were reflective of an increase in this crime area both in Suffolk and nationally.
“Since the Jimmy Saville case, police have seen a dramatic rise in crimes of this nature being reported and by their nature many of these allegations need detailed investigation that will take some time,” he added.
“We want to encourage victims of any sexual assault to continue to come forward and feel confident to do so, so that we can provide the specialist support they need.
“We have, and continue to, increase resources in this priority area of investigation and we are committed to bringing offenders to justice while providing a professional, supportive and caring service to those who have suffered such crimes.”
Det Ch Insp Byford said last year Suffolk Constabulary made changes to the way crimes were recorded in line with a national review, which have contributed to an increase in the number of reported violent crimes across the county.
The force also implemented a new system for assessing calls into the police control room in April last year, which Det Ch Insp Byford said had led to a higher percentage of calls being initially graded as violent.
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, said actions were being taken to improve the figures and the issue was regularly discussed at his accountability meetings with the chief constable.