Slight increase in crime across Antrim and Newtownabbey

Editorial image.
Editorial image.

Annual crime statistics released today have revealed a small increase in crime across the district.

While overall recorded crime in the area had an increase of 1.5%, violent crimes saw a 10 per cent reduction compared to last year.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Police have also made a large increase in drug seizures, with 420 made this year compared to 284 in 2014/2015.

District Commander for the area, Superintendent Emma Bond, said: “The latest figures reveal that violent acts have fallen by 244 incidents, a reduction of 10% compared to last year (2014/15), while crime outcome rates have risen to 29.8% which is the highest outcome rate in the area since 2007/08.”

Supt. Bond added that while domestic abuse crimes have increased by 5.1% compared to last year, the PSNI see this as an indication of “increased confidence in the service we deliver” adding that people who may not have previously come forward are “taking the courageous step and calling the police”.

“I would continue to urge anyone who is the victim of abuse to come forward and report it to us,” Supt. Bond said.

Referreding the “large increase” in drug seizures, rising from 284 in 2014/15 to 420 in 2015/16, Supt. Bond added: “This is a rise of 136 more seizures.

“We have also made 50 more arrests this year - there were 208 in 2015/16 compared to 158 in 2014/15.

“This increase has seen more drugs and people involved in drugs taken off the streets as a result of specific police operations targetting this issue, such as Operation Torus.”

Supt. Bond said that in total all recorded crime in the area had a small increase of 1.5%, but added: “However we saw a decrease in the number of hate incidents (falling from 80 in 2014/15 to 67 in 2015/16) and a small decrease of 0.7% in the number of anti-social behaviour incidents reported to us.”

Summing up the statistics, Supt. Bond added: “This year’s figures show us that while we have been making significant strides in tackling a number of local issues, there is always room to do more.

“In Antrim & Newtownabbey my officers and I are committed to delivering a quality service to the community. In the year ahead we will continue to work hard and in partnership with the Police and Community Safety Partnership and others, to deliver the local policing plan and build confidence in policing and ultimately drive down crime.”