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Rise in violent crime and domestic abuse but Stansted still 'safest place in the county'

Stansted has seen an increase in violent crime, including domestic abuse – but Essex Police has reassured the community it is still "the safest place to live in the county".

While the force refers only to district-wide figures for reported crime, Stansted's officers on the ground have recorded a shift in patterns.

Sgt Steve Sharma, from Uttlesford’s community policing team, was at Stansted Parish Council on Wednesday September 8, where he highlighted the rise.

“As far as the total number of crimes, nothing has changed at all – burglaries, robberies and shoplifting are down, however violence against people is up, as are sexual offences and rape,” he told the meeting.

Across Stansted, reports of violence without injury, which includes domestic abuse, totalled 108 for the year to the end of July, up 33% compared with 81 the previous 12 months.

Violence with injury rose from 16 to 26 incidents while sexual offences doubled from five to 10 and three rapes were reported compared to two the previous year.

Essex Police (51223943)
Essex Police (51223943)

Council chair Maureen Caton said that domestic violence statistics were “completely new to us” while fellow member Cllr Geoffrey Sell questioned what Essex Police was doing to tackle the increase.

Sgt Sharma said: “We are throwing resources at it and our domestic violence teams have been bolstered.”

Essex Police said figures for the year to the end of July showed 4,300 fewer reports of crime across the county compared with the previous 12 months.

In Uttlesford, there were 349 violence with injury offences (down 53); 126 sexual offences (down 7); 865 domestic abuse reports (down 48); and 48 rapes (down 2).

"Our officers continue to be out across the Uttlesford district to support victims, protect vulnerable people and increase visibility," said a force spokesman.

"Any crime statistic on its own can look quite alarming, but in Uttlesford there were 349 offences of violence with injury – that's just under one a day. It is an extremely safe place to be."

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