The Rise of Crime in Essex
Local crime is a worrying issue for most of us and we often find ourselves wondering if we will fall victim to a burglary, theft or even personal attack. The combination of prevalent social media sites and increased awareness of incidents often makes it feel that crime rates are constantly on the rise. However, they have in fact been falling steadily since 1995. Surprisingly, there are some rural locations that constantly report a zero-incident crime rate, unfortunately larger towns and cities are at the opposite end of this spectrum, having disproportionally much higher, crime figures. The effect of this are often seen with residents of crime hit areas becoming more vigilant and constantly alert in a simple bid to protect their families, property and possessions. Even with overall crime rates steadily on the decline, the rate of ‘High Harm’ incidents are actually on the rise. High Harm incidents include crimes committed with weapons i.e. guns and knives and have been seen to increase in the last 2 years by 22% and 11% respectively. The majority of these crimes recorded occurred within London and the surrounding areas, including Essex. Various factors have been attributed to this rise ranging from less police officers visually ‘on the beat’, to the reduction in youth services and the increase in gang culture. Essex unfortunately has seen a significant rise in crime over the last 12 months. Out of the 42 crime categories 40 have reported increases, with violent crime seeing the largest increase. Stalking, robbery, home burglary and drug crime have been reported to have risen by 34%. Of course, the Police force need to provide more resources to the local area but are often restricted by the spending and budget cuts imposed by Government. However, Essex Police are to introduce 68 new officers to patrol the town centres and add 50 new officers to local policing teams, with an additional 20 officers being specifically assigned to combating gangs and violence throughout Essex. All this will help, but is there anything you can do to help protect yourself when faced with a rise in crime in your local area? Of course, being vigilant and aware within your own communities and neighbourhoods and reporting anything suspicious to the police is a start. If you have the opportunity, then creating or joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme is beneficial as areas with operational schemes have often reported a reduction in crime rates. However, you can’t be at home all day and all night, 7 days a week, to keep watch over your property or your neighbourhood. Therefore Essex security should be taken seriously by ensuring you have a good quality alarm and CCTV system fitted. This is a great way to provide you with peace of mind. The all-important recorded evidence of an unfortunate break in or incident will also stand as evidence. Business owners should also remain vigilant as although business crime in Essex is the only area that has witnessed a reduction in reported incidents, owners should not become complacent with their security arrangements. Updating and refreshing your access and monitoring systems can only help keep your premises safe and secure from future break ins and thefts.