Crime up in Brighton and Hove, according to latest annual figures

Crime has gone up in Brighton and Hove over the past year, with violent crime accounting for almost half of all the cases reported to Sussex Police.

More than a third of all reported crimes were burglaries or thefts while just over one in ten were criminal damage.

A Brighton and Hove City Council report published this week 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 2018-19 this had risen to 26,940, a 3 per cent increase on 2017-18.

“Broadly speaking, total crime is broken down into violent crime (46 per cent of the total), acquisitive crime (37 per cent of total crime in 2018-19), criminal damage (11 per cent of the total) and other offences (6 per cent of the total).

“Violence against the person crimes rose by 8 per cent, continuing the upward trend (up 7 per cent) seen in 2017-18.

“Robberies showed a marked increase in 2018-19 – up from 325 in 2017-18 to 437 in 2018-19 – an increase of 35 per cent.

“Nine out of ten robberies in 2018-19 were ‘personal’ robberies, with the rest being robberies of businesses.

“Vehicle crimes have risen significantly – up by 29 per cent in 2018-19. This is on top of a 4 per cent rise in 2017-18.

“Both theft of a vehicle (up 20 per cent) and theft from a vehicle (up 36 per cent) have increased in 2018-19.

“Brighton and Hove is not alone in seeing an increase in vehicle crime. This is also evident across Sussex and nationally.

“Local analysis … showed that vehicle crime was spread across the city, with no evidence of a particular geographical focus.

“Besides vehicle crime, other acquisitive crime types ended 2018-19 with a decrease on the year before. Pedal cycle thefts in particular were down by 21 per cent.

“Domestic violence offences have continued their steady year-on-year increase, ending 2018-19 with 5 per cent more recorded crimes than in 2017-18.

“Sexual offences have also continued their long-term upward trend but, in contrast to increases of between 14 per cent and 22 per cent in each of the previous years, this had reduced to a 1.2 per cent increase in 2018-19.

“Most hate crime/incident groups in 2018-19 showed an increase compared with 2017-18, with the exception of homophobic crimes and incidents which decreased slightly.

“The long-term declining trend in the number of police recorded ASB (anti-social behaviour) incidents continues, with numbers recorded in 2018-19 showing a 17 per cent decrease compared with 2017-18.

“ASB crimes were increasing in number in the three years up to 2016-17, decreased in 2017-18 but have risen again slightly in 2018-19 (up 2 per cent).

“In 2018-19 recorded homophobic incidents and crimes are showing a decrease (down 5 per cent), while other forms of hate are showing an increase: racist up 2 per cent, religiously motivated up 10 per cent, transphobic up 43 per cent and disability-motivated up 27 per cent, although these increases are based on small numbers.”

The report – to the council’s Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities and Equalities Committee – said that 101 out of the 108 hate crime cases reaching court (94 per cent) resulted in a conviction.

It added: “A series of aggravated robberies targeted around LGBT venues and St James’s Street has raised community concerns and tensions.

“The Rainbow Fund has engaged three security staff to patrol the St James’s Street area, called ‘Community Guardians’, working from 9pm to 4am each day, working out of the Rainbow Hub.

“A volunteer patrol group is currently being trained up as community response to increased

violent attacks. The situation is being monitored.

“Transphobic harassment continues to appear in the press, online and stickers/posters around the city. It is removed as and when reported.

“Under-reporting of hate incidents and a lack of trust and confidence in reporting mechanisms and the responses of the authorities continue to be of concern.

“Council funding has been awarded to the Racial Harassment Forum which has recruited a part-time advocacy worker to raise awareness of hate crime reporting mechanisms and to support victims of racist and religiously motivated hate crime.”

The report is due to be discussed by the committee at Hove Town Hall next Monday (1 July).

It is likely to be the last time that the committee meets as a review is expected to lead to its work being taken over by other council committees.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 4pm and should be open to the public.

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