Crime falls in lockdown
Crime in Suffolk fell by nearly 10% last year as the nation was under strict Covid rules. However, there was a sharp rise in the number of reports of stalking and harassment, and drug offences. The Office for National Statistics report shows 51,583 crimes recorded in the county between January and December last year, a 9% fall on the 56,634 recorded the previous year.
In Essex, there was an 8% fall with 155,139 crimes recorded during the year, down from 168,506 in 2019. There were 6,566 stalking and harassment crimes recorded in Suffolk in 2020, up from 5,332 in 2019 – an increase of 23%.
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Drug offences increased by 9%, up from 1,765 in 2019 to 1,931 last year. Breaking it down by Community Safety Partnership areas, drug crimes recorded increased by over 50% in Babergh and Mid Suffolk and 20% in East Suffolk. There was a 1% rise in Ipswich but rates fell by 12% in West Suffolk.
The overall fall in crime has been largely attributed to the national lockdown and the other restrictions imposed last year which kept people off the street. Robbery offences plummeted by 23% in Suffolk and a massive 38% in Essex, while burglary fell by over 20% in both counties. Reports of sexual offences also fell with Suffolk seeing 2,266 incidents compared to 2,529 the previous year, equating to a 10% reduction.
But there were 35 more knife crimes recorded in 2020 compared to 2019 in Suffolk, with only Staffordshire police reporting a larger increase in knife crimes of 50. Essex also had increased with 12 more offences recorded.