Crime rise in Harrogate

North Yorkshire Police officers
North Yorkshire Police officers

Reported crime across the Harrogate district rose by 1.5 per cent in the last year, according to figures set to be presented to the council’s crime and disorder overview and scrutiny commission.

Across the Harrogate district, house burglaries, shop thefts and thefts of bikes have increased, as well as reports of other burglaries.

The increase is set against North Yorkshire Police’s (NYP) announcement this week that crime across the county reduced by six per cent, making it the safest in England.

Superintendent Aubrey Smith, Safer Neighbourhood Commander told the Harrogate Advertiser series: “North Yorkshire Police overall has seen a decrease but three of the commands, including Harrogate, have seen a rise this time.

“We would like to see crime continue to reduce but I believe we will get to a point where it will plateau, and, looking at the figures overall it is a small increase.

“Compare it against last year when we achieved a 13 per cent reduction and it was always going to be challenging.”

According to the presentation, rural crime rose around Ripon at the start of the year, with an increased number of burglaries of sheds, outbuildings and garages.

Shop theft rose by 87 incidents to a total of 451 for the year.

The presentation says the Asda store in Harrogate continues to be a crime hot spot for shop theft.

Supt Smith said: “We are working with the supermarkets to make stores safer by design.

“There is an opportunity for people to walk out without paying, and we have an issue with young people trying to take alcohol quite regularly.

“With the economic downturn, we see people who maybe would not do it otherwise.”

Anti social behaviour across Harrogate is down six per cent, while reported public order and assault incidents are also down.

The Office of National Statistics this week showed for a 12 month period until June 2013, crime had reduced by six per cent county-wide, with 42.43 recorded crimes per 1,000 people.

Chief Constable Dave Jones of NYP said: “It is very pleasing that crime in North Yorkshire continues to be reduced.

“However, we know that there are difficult times ahead with more savings to be made and it will be a real challenge to maintain this level of performance.”

Reports of sexual offences have increased by 16 per cent,and the increase is believed to be due to more victims having the confidence to come forward.