POLICE data highlights the rise in violent crime in Harlow and the surrounding areas last year.
From December 2018 to November 2019, there has been a general increase in the numbers of crimes reported, according to official police data. The highest crime-ridden month in 2019 was May, with 1,278 crimes reported.
The highest rising category of crime is criminal damage, which has gone up by 244.4%. There has been a general trend of rising crime in Harlow, up 23% since the last police rolling report. Sexual Offences is up by 20%, Robbery is up by 36.1% and less crime is being solved, down by 1.1%.
Violent crimes, which range from knife crime to murder, are the highest crime percentage in Harlow with 4,298 reported crimes. Knife crime in particular is a rising national trend, rising since 2014, with 714 offences involving a knife in Essex last year, up 27% from the start of the decade. This is the highest in the East of England.
It is especially common in juveniles, which are considered from 10-17 years of age, which compromise 21% of cases nationally. Of 3130 stop and searches in Essex, 769 were under age with 19 aged 12 and under.
Learning mentor at Changing Lives Harlow, Robert Green, who deals with vulnerable students who can be connected with knife crime, said there was an increase in young offenders being arrested in this category. However, this was not being highlighted because schools were failing to report an association with knife crime and their students, due to a fear of negative press.
Mr Green added that more Knife Prevention programmes were needed, to help support the police who sometimes had a negative rapport with young people. Outdoor activities, like sports clubs and Scouts, could also really prevent the young falling into knife crime.
When asked about the reasons for knife crime, Mr Green referenced the rise in the so-called ‘County Line’ drug ring phenomena as being one of the reasons for an increase.