Harassment and stalking cases rise by over a third in South Yorkshire

Stalking and harassment has risen by over a third in South Yorkshire – while more people are carrying weapons and getting involved in violence, the latest crime figures have revealed.

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 5:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2019, 6:04 pm
Sergeant Mike Miles and PC Nicky Dewhurst on patrol around Eastwood in Rotherham. Picture: Chris Etchells

But, overall, recorded incidents of crime have dropped in the county by two per cent, compared to a rise of seven per cent nationally.

The Office for National Statistics published the figures for 2018 on Thursday.

Sergeant Mike Miles and PC Nicky Dewhurst on patrol around Eastwood in Rotherham. Picture: Chris Etchells

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In South Yorkshire, sexual offences had decreased by five per cent, thefts were down by 11 per cent and criminal damage and arson fell by 12 per cent.

Knife crime and ‘sharp instrument offences’ dropped by three per cent.

Violent offences rose by 13 per cent, stalking and harassment by 38 per cent, possession of weapons by 12 per cent and public order offences by eight per cent.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “South Yorkshire does seem to be bucking some of the national trends with significant falls in some crimes.

“I am particularly pleased to see knife crimes fell, albeit slightly by three per cent. This is not the public perception because we tend to be over-influenced by the high profile reporting of a few incidents.

“We need to turn these latest figures for knife crimes into a trend and that will only happen if we can continue to get upstream of crime.”

Drug offences rose by 16 per cent, higher than average.

Dr Billings added: “We need to work with partners to get people off drugs and we need to work with schools to ensure young people understand the risks.

“Drug offences rose more than the regional increase of 14 per cent, but this is a crime that requires the proactive approach from the police in order to find and prosecute the perpetrators.

“The funding we are going to receive from the Government will also enable the police to disrupt the gangs, especially those involved in drugs.

“But what we also need to notice and give more scrutiny to are the significant rises both locally and nationally in forms of psychological violence – stalking, harassment, domestic abuse and offences on social media.

“Increasingly the police are having to keep us safe on the internet as well as the streets.”