The latest crime statistics for Northern Ireland show that there were 102,746 crimes recorded by the PSNI in 2013/14 compared with 100,389 in 2012/13, an increase of 2,357 (2.3%).
Speaking about the figures published by the PSNI Chair of the Board’s Performance Committee Jonathan Craig MLA said:
“For the first time in 4 years recorded crime figures have shown a slight increase overall but still show that Northern Ireland is one of the safest places to live.
Disappointingly, the overall crime outcome rate has fallen and whilst we are aware of the particular operational pressures that PSNI had to deal with during the last year, Board Members will be concerned about this drop, its impact on those who have been the victim of crime and the wider community.
Of serious concern is the further increase in the number of crimes with a domestic abuse motivation and the 5 percentage point reduction in police success in dealing with this crime. Over 4 more crimes per day are being recorded and whilst we want victims to have the confidence to come forward, it shows that this is an endemic societal problem that needs to be tackled. The Board has had a series of discussions with the PSNI on the response to this crime. Whilst a lot of good work has been taken forward, the Board has been pressing the PSNI on the need to introduce measures, such as the routine use of body worn video cameras, to secure photographic evidence that could assist in the prosecution of abusers.”
Amongst the other figures published today burglaries fell by 5.4%, increases were recorded in drugs seizures (7.8%) and arrests for drug offences (3.0%). Police also recorded a 7.1% decrease in incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB) which is the lowest level ever recorded since this measure was introduced in April 2006. Welcoming these reductions Mr Craig said:
“During the course of the last year, we have really started to see the benefits of the Policing and Community Safety Partnerships and their contribution, in partnership with the police, community and other statutory agencies, in responding to issues in local areas such as anti-social behaviour and drugs. With community support the police and other agencies really can make an impact and the reductions recorded show this.
However, the figures published today show some alarming increases in all but one of the six categories of crimes with a hate motivation. Hate crime is an area where police really do need support from across the community in stopping further attacks. Recent initiatives announced by the PSNI in response to racist hate crime are fully supported by the Board and we appeal to the public to work with the police on this.”
Police performance is the focus of regular scrutiny at the Board and the detail of the statistics published will be considered with the Chief Constable at the June Board meeting.
For further information please contact the Board’s Communications Office on 07801 738795.
Notes to Editors
The full statistical analysis is available to view on the PSNI website at www.psni.police.uk