Violent crime in Burnley rises as stalking and harassment soars

The total number of offences in Burnley increased by 1%, with police recording 12,207 crimes over the course of the year
The total number of offences in Burnley increased by 1%, with police recording 12,207 crimes over the course of the year

Violent crime has risen in Burnley over the last year, amid warnings of an epidemic sweeping the country.

The Police Federation said officers across England and Wales were struggling to "deliver the basics", and warned the benefits of promised new recruits would not be felt for some time.

Lancashire recorded 4,420 incidents of violent crime in Burnley in the 12 months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was an increase of 10% compared to the previous year.

At 49.9 crimes per 1,000 people, that's far higher than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 28.7.

One of the main factors behind the increase was the increase in stalking and harassment, which rose by 28%, from 1,049 incidents to 1,347.

Offences of violence without injury were recorded 1,744 times, an increase of 15% on the previous year, and violence with injury on 1,328 occasions, down by 8%.

There was also one homicide, which include murders and manslaughters, up by one on the previous 12 months.

Overall, police recorded 7% more crime across England and Wales – there were more than six million offences in the 12 months to June.

The biggest hike was in stalking and harassment , which jumped by 37% to 459,000.

However, the ONS said improvements to reporting and recording practices by police could be behind the increase.

Responding to the national figures, John Apter, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "These figures once again come as no surprise as officers continue to struggle to deal with delivering the basics in policing which is incredibly frustrating for them.

“With forces snowed under by demand, unable to answer all 999 calls in some cases, chiefs are having to make some difficult decisions over which services need to be reined back."

The total number of offences in Burnley increased by 1%, with police recording 12,207 crimes over the course of the year.

This puts the overall crime rate at 137.9 per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 89.3.

Other crimes recorded in Burnley included:

– 387 sexual offences, a rise of 2%

– 2,824 theft offences, a decrease of 40%

– 1,583 incidents of criminal damage and arson, down 8%

– 189 drug offences, up 11%

– 62 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, up 72%

– 1,069 public order offences, up 31%

– There was also a 7% increase in incidents involving knives or sharp incidents across England and Wales

The National Police Chiefs' Council lead for crime, Chief Constable Andy Cooke, said while the rise was concerning, use of targeted stop and search and other measures had helped reduce the rate of increase.

He said: “In the past few years cuts to policing have meant we’ve become more reactive to crime. With the recruitment of additional officers we will have more people on the beat and more people investigating and preventing crime.

“I am also concerned by increases in other offences, and that too few crimes are being solved and brought to court for justice to be done.

"This is a symptom of the strain on policing as we try to manage growing crime and demand that is ever more complex."