Violent crime rises in Brighton

Crime is still on the increase in Brighton and Hove, according to a report going before councillors.

A report to Brighton and Hove City Council’s Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities and Equalities Committee said: “In 2017-18 there were a total of 26,142 crimes recorded by the police in Brighton and Hove, a 1.4 per cent increase compared with 2016-17.

“In the first six months of 2018-19 there were 13,887 crimes recorded, a marginal increase (up 0.2 per cent) on the same months in 2017-18 when there were 13,856 recorded.”

The report, going before the committee on Monday (21 January), said that increasing crime levels since 2013-14 followed a previous drop in the figures.

Progress has been made in dealing with anti-social behaviour and drug dealing at The Level in the past year.

About 150 reports of anti-social behaviour and hate incidents occur there every three months.

Most are resolved at an early stage but ten are still being dealt with on a long-term basis by the council’s casework team.

Since the start of April eight closure orders have been granted by the courts after reports of problems that include drug dealing and “cuckooing”, where dealers set up in the home of a vulnerable person, as well as anti-social behaviour and noise issues, domestic violence and safeguarding concerns.

Two vulnerable people were rehoused in November after police carried out drugs raids on their homes after they were overrun by dealers and drug users.

There were 13 crimes related to modern slavery recorded in 2017-18, with 11 recorded in the first half of the current year.

Nine of the 11 crimes recorded in the past six months relate to “holding a person in slavery or servitude”.

The council has recruited someone on a short-term basis to tackle modern slavery and help staff understand how to recognise and deal with it.

Hate crime has fallen in most areas apart from crimes against people with disabilities, which rose from 36 in the first quarter of 2017 to 44 during the same period in 2018, partly put down to more accurate recording, the report said.

The report added: “The key concern continues to be hate incidents across all strands and the underlying extremist sentiment this signifies.

“The issue of racist incidents in schools has been raised, alongside ongoing concerns around transphobia.

“Positive work is being undertaken to tackle these issues.”

The Racial Harassment Forum’s report on racially and religiously motivated hate crime highlighted incidents targeted at young black boys and visibly Muslim girls in schools.

It raised concern regarding the under-reporting of hate crime.

The report said that there was a 6 per cent increase in violence against the person, with 5,739 incidents in the first quarter of this year, up from 5,439 last year.

Violent crime made up 45 per cent of all crime, with theft and burglary accounting for 38 per cent.

The areas with the highest number of violent crimes were in the centre of Brighton where the highest number of pubs and clubs are.

The number of sexual offences rose from 472 to 487 year on year, while domestic violence was up from 2,610 incidents in the first quarter of 2017, to 2,682 for the same period this year.

Vehicle crime has increased significantly, up by 35 per cent from 770 in the first quarter of 2017, to 1,031 in 2018.

This type of crime is on the increase nationally and spread across the city.

Incidents of criminal damage, robberies and burglaries have all dropped.

The Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities and Equalities Committee is due to meet at Hove Town Hall on Monday (21 January). The meeting, which starts at 4pm, is open to the public.

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